Farewell to Breskell

With Breskell now safe and on the hard, I worked on a methodical winterization during the next two days before my farewell to Breskell .

Breskell safe on land

I removed all sails, stanchions, running rigging and safety equipment . I completely drained the heads, the fresh water system, and protected my two motors.
With my propeller, I had caught some fishing lines. I found them tightly wrapped around the shaft. They had slightly shifted my engine on its support bed. To avoid any later damaging vibrations, I needed to align it again. A quick job done on the spot.

My old trusted Perkins engine

And what about my lost starboard rudder? That repair would wait until next year. I took down its shaft. It was made of two parts welded in the middle. With the corrosion and the mechanical stress exerted by the steering , the welding got weaker and weaker and finally broke right at that junction . The yard’s workers reassured me. They could welded it back without any difficulties . I chose to report that repair for next June. I had now to complete carefully my winter preparation.
Even if I met a few expected problems with so many people coming onboard, the beginning of my long journey to the West coast went finally very well.
The first part, from Chesapeake to Greenland, is over now without any important  mishap:
1- My blog, Breskell.com is alive and running.
2- Dominic Joyce aboard my handmade, cold molded wood epoxy sailboat, made a real beautiful movie about these unique Arctic landscapes . He produces also an intimate documentary about my dream of sailing Breskell to the edge of the ice cap into Disko bay.

A spectacular movie by Dominic Joyce

3- I am starting now my new 2018 gofundme campaign searching for sponsors and partners.

If you have followed my 2017 day by day journey in this blog…
If you have watched the great “DISKO “ documentary…
If you have followed my Facebook account
If you known me personally …
You know already that I will never ever give up my dream to reunify Breskell with her “natural family” farther south, on the West Coast, in beautiful Port Townsend.
I will find a way around the difficulties.
I know that armchair critics and all kinds of experts have a long list of objections to this kind of sailing.
I understand that the North West Passage is dangerous, that the ice-field is scary, the weather unpredictable, the surrounding inhospitable, the navigation challenging.

Going west…

I chose this difficult passage for different reasons.
Sailing Breskell to the very edge of our navigational world is part of my personal dream. A dream shared with my ancestors from Brittany. All over the world’s oceans, they confronted also the sea monsters and slashed the dragons predicted by the local armchair experts.
I want also to add the quiet voice of a hardcore American sailor to the growing concern of those documenting the quick disappearance of one of the major regulator of our climate. The huge arctic glaciers combined with the northern ice-fields are shrinking by the day now. If my fragile cold molded wood boat can transit carefully and safely in these slowly warming waters with a manageable amount of problems, watch out down south, you insouciant landlubber. You are going to face soon a hell of much more serious problems than mine. Being devastating hurricanes, deadly droughts or furious floods, that is where your tomorrow’s dragons and future sea monsters are lurking! In comparison, my icebergs and growlers will look just like a fairy tale.
For my students , I have also this message: in a commercial world where you can buy a plastic boat with some plastic money in a matter of minutes, you can also choose another road, make your own personal passagemaker. One plank after another plank, you can build a different kind of boat. A boat with a soul. A dream boat that you are going to take care off as a member of your family. A boat you are not going to discard as a useless plastic bottle with the new trend of the nautical fashion of the year.
And to end with my kids, why not just relay to them this message from Henry David Thoreau:
“What you get by achieving your dream is not as important as what you become by achieving it.”

So let’s go now and prepare safely for our 2018 North West Passage !