So, I was delivering a boat (Godspeed) to Antigua with Simon Edwards and Tag (Al Hunt). I was telling Tag about this idea I had during my second single-handed trans-Atlantic. I was thinking about tying to start a non-profit in Annapolis MD that would give sailing opportunities to the disabled. Tag said “have you ever heard of C.R.A.B?” I said “whats C.R.A.B?” And that is how this whole thing started. C.R.A.B (Chesapeake Regional Assessable Boating) is an Annapolis based non-profit that has been giving people with mental and physical disabilities sailing opportunities for 20 years. After that delivery Simon and I flew from Antigua to Puerto Rico, jumped on a catamaran and delivered that to Annapolis. While in Annapolis I called Don Backe and found out more about C.R.A.B. After delivering another boat from Puerto Rico to Annapolis (with Mike “da web mast”) I finally brought my boat up from the Caribbean which completed my Annapolis to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and back trip. I had a little money saved up from the boat deliveries so when I got back to Annapolis instead of getting a normal job I did volunteer work with C.R.A.B. Karl would show up at 8am and we would get bagels and coffee, then off we went to do some bottom job or try to get some old funky atomic four started. One day after looking at a 25 foot folkboat C.R.A.B. had for sale I said to Don “You should let me take that boat up to the Northwest Passage and we’ll raise some money for C.R.A.B”. I thought he would laugh at me but he thought it was a good idea. Andy Shell wrote an article in Spinsheet which two C.R.A.B. volunteers (Colin and Lee) read – and they said “instead of taking the 25 Folkboat why don’t you take our 27 Albin Vega”. So they swapped out there Vega for a hunter C.R.A.B had and now we had a good trip and a good boat. I don’t own St Brendan, when I say “my boat” I’m using “my” loosely. Its mine in spirit, and C.R.A.B.’s by ownership. I own a Pearson 323, which is on the hard right now at Ferry Point Marina. Once we had the Vega then the huge task of raising money began. Somehow it all worked out – we are trying to raise money for C.R.A.B. two ways. Either on a money for miles bases. In other words a person would donate x amount per mile. At a penny a mile it would be a $230 donation (round about) – as long as I complete the entire trip. At a dollar a mile it would be a bunch of money. Someone could also make a one time general donation with the credit card for any amount. It’s all tax deductible (if you live in the states). All of this can be done in the “how I can help” section of this web site. Please let people know about this trip – the more people know, the more money we can raise. If I were to complete this trip and raise no money the trip would be a failure.
The conditions have been mostly light since my last entry. I had some sun yesterday and was able to get my asymmetrical sail fixed. I flew the sail until 5:30 this morning then the wind picked up and I had to drop it. I tried to unfurl my jib but my furler is jammed. I’ve seen quite a few furlers jam before but this is a strange one. I’ve tried everything I can in 20kts of wind so I have to wait until the wind dies and climb my mast and see if I can fix it. I’m not too worried, things break around here all the time. So I finish the Northwest Passage under mail sail alone. I guess its fitting. Tonight I will celebrate with my last glass of warm sake. The celebration will be short. Completing the Northwest Passage in any boat is a good achievement but the Northwest passage is just one piece of a much larger pie. This is a non-stop circumnavigation of the Americas, I must keep my eye on the ball. I must reach the Chesapeake Bay, anything less would be a failure.

11 thoughts on “South!”

  1. A huge congratulations on completing the North West Passage Matt. Successfully navigating through all the icebergs, sea ice, islands, currents and a million other things you have had to sort through really is an incredible accomplishment!

    You always sound so upbeat and like a true explorer you acknowledge problems and mistakes and you deal with them. You are also very inventive and practical, two extremely valuable characteristics of a solo sailor, not to mention sheer guts and determination. But boy are you hard on yourself! I couldn’t possibly see your voyage as a failure if you finished right now but you would and that is a true indication of your steely focus and committment. The online dictionary describes “committed” as “Loyal and willing to give your time and energy to something you believe in”.

    Sail on Matt, the world is so much better for your vision, your determination and that wonderful adventurous spirit.

    Man.. that’s something to carry around in your “memory banks”
    for the rest of your life!!
    I understand your overall goal is a loooong ways off ..
    but the North West Passage !! in a 27′ Vega ..
    (( – : Amazing..

  3. Very inspiring! My family and I just got back from a Disney Cruise to Alaska and I thought of your 27′ cruise ship! We didn’t have as great adventure as you are but I will be keeping watch through your blog. I like the idea of cents per mile and I will pledge 3 cents per mile to CRAB. If you need any personal donations for any more broken water filters of such I’d be glad to help with that too! How does the saying go? May the wind at your back never be your own?

  4. Hi Matt

    Thanks for sharing both reflective and nautical comments and insights. I am going to donate some money online now. You should really remind us all, with every entry, about CRAB and request some online support with every log entry you make!


  5. You should pat yourself on the back on the first real test of your trip. I’ve been watching XM weather for the gulf of Alaskia and a few storms have passed by with only small steep waves 10 ft at 10 sec. but the winds will be in your favor

  6. So very happy, you are successfully through all that rough stuff! Hope you are able to resume eating on somewhat of a regular basis. You truly are amazing! Many kudos and much appreciation for your charitable endeavor. Looks as though many are responding to increase the donations. Count me in, also. I’ll get more info and put it out to all my friends on FaceBook. Perhaps if we all spead the word more, C.R.A.B. will benefit all the more. Keep on keeping on…

    Karol Harlan

  7. Hello Matt,

    Hurricane Irene knocked out electricity and internet service to many in the Annapolis area. The difficult part of it was missing out on your progress. C.R.A.B. is such a great cause. The disabled people in the area are able to see others enjoy water activities. C.R.A.B enables them to share that experience – an experience they will never forget. I will send another check to that admirable cause.

    Dave from Crownsville

  8. Matt I met Simon when he stopped at our marina during one of his deliveries, quite the guy!!. I own a perfect boat Gadabout Too that would love to take that trip. She’s a 37′ gaff, custom built steel with a 1/2″ boiler plate bottom. But I’m to old and she’ll never see that cold of water unless I let her freeze in Lake Erie some day. I applaud you, on your resolve and and constant high spirits!! Keep it up,and maybe I’ll meet you someday on one of Simon’s deliveries. I’ll make sure to donate to C.R.A.B.

  9. Of note:
    I was just at the Wunderground Weather site as of Friday Sept 2, 2011:
    Tropical Storm Talas in the Western Pacific.
    Talas is expected to hit Japan early on Saturday as a strong tropical storm,
    then race northwestwards into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.

    1. Thanks for the posting Wayne. You will see that Matt has turned east at Point Hope, He will get shelter from the strong Northerlies that are heading twd the Straits, then resume his southerly course when it has passed. I hope he takes a well deserved rest while he stays out of harms way.

      1. That’s good to know Simon..
        I see the wunderground article actually says “Northwestwards”.. but to hit the Bering sea off Alaska it must mean actually “Northeastwards.”

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