Out of the Arctic

10 days down the tubes. I spent 7 of the last 10 days being hammered by storms. The other three days I was maneuvering my boat in big sea trying to redeploy my para-anchor so I wouldn’t end up shipwrecked on a lee shore. I’m not even going to tell you my true feelings on the subject, It wouldn’t be appropriate for this web site. It blew 40kts out of the south Friday the 9th. On Saturday the wind eased up to 25kts for about 8 hours so I pulled my para-anchor with waves crashing down on me and repositioned my boat just as the wind was picking back up. Then I had 40kt southerlies for another 36 hours. Iv been trapped up here. I couldn’t go south during the “old typhoon” because all hell was breaking lose to the south. I couldn’t go south in the southerlies because I can’t beat into 40kt headwinds on this 27 foot 5,000lb boat. I would of went nowhere and something would of broke. Pinned down by heavy weather, what a way to start the month. The good news is nothing broke. My moral eis a bit bruised, but my inner-Shackleton is as strong as ever.
Well, one thing broke. I looked up at my mast head yesterday a saw that my Davis Windex was bent backwards about 60 degrees. I’ve never seen that happen before. It would of taken a awful lot of wind to bend it. It is possible a bird hit it during the “old typhoon”. I doesn’t really matter, I’ll climb my mast the next time the wind dies and fix it.
The northwest passage has multiple beginnings and endings. Some people think its from the Arctic circle to the Arctic circle. Some people think its from Pond inlet to the Bering Straits. I read online before I left that it was Pond inlet to Barrow point, Barrow point is not the historical end. I think its funny that the Northwest Passage has two beginnings and three ends depending on who you talk to and which way your going. I don’t care where you draw the imaginary line. Its absolutely irrelevant at this point.
I’m beyond happy to be back on the move. I can see Russia right now, well it is a Russian island but nevertheless part of Russia. Its crazy to think not long ago I was looking at Greenland, now I’m looking at Russia. I guess I’m now qualified to be the next Republican vice-presidential candidate.(just kidding) I don’t see any heavy weather in the next five days that would stop me. Well it might blow 35kts in a few days but it will be out of the west, so who cares? I’m officially out of the Arctic. I enjoyed my summer in the Arctic. It was incredibly difficult but also incredibly beautiful. The best things in life don’t come easy. I think its about time I climb down from the top of the planet. After the last ten days I feel like a tightly wound spring, ready to explode all over the Bering Sea.

16 thoughts on “Out of the Arctic”

  1. Everyone I know in Texas has been following your adventures. We are amazed and proud of your stamina and endurance! I love you, son.


  2. Good onya mate!

    Just keep her pointed South and look for warmer climes.

    Catch you later

  3. Matt,

    Great sailing and congratulations on successfully making it through the arctic! Also, thanks so much for your dedication to raising funds for CRAB. We really appreciate it.

    Lance Hinrichs

  4. The main thing is that you made it. By the time you are done with this trip, this last week or so we be but a blip.

  5. Go Matt!
    Your strength and determination is inspiring. CRAB is lucky to have a guy like you on there side.
    We’re routing for you here in Philly!

  6. Hiya Matt!

    I’m celebrating your transit of the Arctic!

    You go down in my book as a true adventurer: you have a mission, limited resources, a brave heart, steely resolve, a reflective mind and that little bit of crazy that makes everything worth it!


    Annapolis, MD

  7. yo kid if you ever read this you were on elliot in the morning today. Me, Snowda, and some of my buddies were talking about the trip.

  8. Matt, you do realize you could sail into Dutch Harbor and be welcomed as a true hero, but we know you won’t. I hope you’re trip south will be enjoyable and much more relaxing.

  9. Holy Moly Man!

    No matter what trials your future brings,
    You will forever need only to reflect within yourself
    when you seek courage.

    some better and warmer weather ‘must’ be close ahead!!

  10. Matt,
    Many in Annapolis are following your battle thru the typhoon and, as we read weather reports, amazed at your fortitude and skill. You’re a true adventurer! Everyone I speak with about Northwest Challenge is awed and inspired by you.

    Thanks for dedicating your voyage to CRAB. I hope many more are inspired by your courage. You’ve still a long way to go and many more challenges. Head south, young man, and dry out!


  11. Matt: We have not met, but it is a small world indeed. I was on my way to Antigua to race on Godspeed when you and Simon were doing the delivery with Tag Hunt. I understand Tag filled you in about CRAB,…. and the rest is history. Sailing the Northwest passage, solo or not, is history and the rest is just gravy. I also happen to have an office downstairs from CRAB. After reading about Simon’s resupply effort I dropped off a check at CRAB for a new water maker. Every time you make a new supply, think of all the folks in Annapolis and around the globe waiting for your return. When you get back, drinks are on me. Enjoy the adventure and Godspeed!!

  12. Hey Matt,

    Julian here again, got a call from James Port Supply guy here with West Marine and he mentioned he heard your adventure on Eliot in the Morning radio show DC 101 and that Colin Cameron also called in and spoke about the trip.

    Wow….mate you are becoming a celebrity! Hang in there and take care.

  13. Hey Matt! Another person you have never met but am an avid fan! I have been communicating with Simon on your resupply efforts and hope all goes well. You are becomming a celebrity slowly but surely.
    Does anyone know who worked on the ‘Meeting the challenge’ brochure? http://www.solotheamericas.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Meeting-the-Challenge-Brochure-revised.pdf
    Since you are already underway do you think it appropriate to make it more for donating to CRAB rather than outfitting the boat? Just a thought. I would like to send this out to as many sailors as I know.

  14. Hey, Matt!

    You are still alive and kickin’! Such resolve and resiliance is awesome to all of us, the land-lubbers who dread the misery of sea-sickness! You are quite the inspiration! Stay strong and don’t forget to eat!!!

    God be with you,

    Karol Harlan

  15. Hi Everyone…
    I just wanted to let you know that thanks to you all, Matt will be in good shape as he heads out on the next leg across the Pacific(s).
    I just sent out a big heavy box of gear that he needed, along with a few items that didn’t ask for but he will enjoy. The good news ( and a surprise to me ), is that there is a big Safeway store in Dutch harbor, so he will be able to get some fresh supplies taken out. The watermaker should already be there waiting for him. So from here on, he will be co-ordinating with Jeff Hancock, who will be doing the drop. There is a reporter going out with the boat I believe, I reminded her to take a camera….I want to see some pics of the boat…. He sounds in great spirits and as indomitable as ever….For those in the Annapolis area, the Capital is doing a follow up story in Sunday’s paper….

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