Last UPDATE 18/04/2018:
Sailing of a lifetime around the ice-field of Greenland :
1- I have some opportunities left for participants during my 17 to 28 July 2018 sailing between llulissat and Upernavik.
I am also selecting THE LAST CREW MEMBER for my 2018 North West Passage with Breskell
Interested in those opportunities? Please contact me directly by email at:
My name is Olivier Dupont- Huin, often times called Olivier Huin. I am the builder of the Breskell and the captain of this expedition. My family is originally from Brittany.
I was born and lived in France for my first 27 years. Then I left to go sailing.
In my family we came from a long line of seafarers. We are people “from the Ocean”.
All my life has been close to the sea. The Quiberon bay and the Morbihan gulf have been my playgrounds as a kid and teenager
Dad was an artist, a sculptor. During world war II, he studied at “ l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in Paris. A famous French art academy. He was also an architect. He liked boats and as a naval architect drew a lot of them. That’s why I asked him to draw the plan for Breskell. Incidentally, he was also a writer! He published several books about his life, like “ le “solitaire du ru boise” or“ Temoignage”.
When I was 19 years old, I started working for a boat builder. I got the opportunity to build a 72 feet boat called “IMOTEP “’. A huge boat.
At the same time, I drew and built my first boat: “Breur Bihan”. On this boat, I sailed to Africa and then across the Atlantic from Dakar, Senegal, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via the Cabo Verde islands then up to French Guyana, the Caribbean islands, and the Bahamas.
1985 saw me back to France!
The drawings already done by my father, I started to built Breskell. Fifteen month later, completed she was.
In 1987, I left France for the second time heading for the Canary Islands. I stayed there 3 years associated with “Top Yachting “, running the boat yard in Puerto Mogan, repairing boats and preparing a lot of them for their ocean crossing.
In 1990, I decided to leave the Canaries Islands for the Caribbean’s. I ended up in the United States. There I worked and operated a boat yard with my wife for several years.
In United States, I earned an Extra Ham radio license as well as a 100T captain license with STCW and sail auxiliary.
- We decided to go to St Thomas, Virgin Islands and stayed there 2 and ½ years. Enough time in the area to get hit by hurricane “ IVAN “ while in Grenada island. Breskell got damaged pretty badly. A house roof ended up on her deck.
I made a temporary repair and sailed her back to Virginia with my son Theo. From there, we trucked our sailboat to Charlottesville to the farm where we were going to live for the next five years. I took advantage of this time to rebuild her completely.
I modified the design. A new keel and center board made. Then, we rebuilt the deck. A complete refit of the interior was also started. Unfortunately we had to leave the farm before the work was completed. Today, Breskell still needs some interior work.
My dad, getting older, asked us to come back to France. We complied. Coco and I sailed Breskell back from Annapolis, on the east US coast, to Brittany via the Azores. For 3 years, we stayed close to him. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2016 age 97.
- For us it was back to the USA. We moved to Port Townsend, WA. So while Coco settled in Port Townsend with Aziliz, our daughter, I crossed, single-handedly, Breskell from France to St Thomas, Virgin Islands and then up to the Chesapeake bay. There, at Cockrell Marine railway, Breskell waited 3 years on the hard until her next trip; her most challenging one to date. In 2017, after preparing the boat, I sailed with a crew up north to Greenland and Disko bay.
For this passage, I have two goals:
1- try to make people aware of the sad reality of climate change. If a wooden boat can sail through the North West passage, this means we have a real global warming going on. And going fast… too fast. Time for us to do our part.
As Emmanuel Macron said:
“ LET’S MAKE THE PLANET GREAT AGAIN “
2- Bring Breskell to Port Townsend, our home town, from Greenland via the North West Passage.
Ultimately anchor in front of the North West School of Wooden Boat Building where I work as an instructor.