Pretty much every road here at Sail Libra is a road less travelled. Let’s face it folks, in this day and age there is nothing even close to ordinary about a Bluewater Passage under sail on a classic vessel. It is the rare individual that chooses that road these days. But there is less traveled, and then there is LESS TRAVELLED! If you want to put your experience in all caps, we can help!
While all of our open water passages are an adventure of a lifetime, some of our voyages are stand outs even in this rarefied environment. Our Expedition level trips come with some next level adventure, and the next level bragging rights that go with that. Our Expeditions are real deal bucket list experiences. For these trips, we will be joining forces with leading researchers and film teams, to bring these adventures home to the masses and advance the cause of science from places few have ever seen.
AZORES TO ICELAND, ICELAND TO PLYMOUTH
To say that the Azores are in the middle of the ocean is a bit off. Truth said, they are a fair bit to the east of middle, but these beautiful rugged volcanic islands are a way out there. The Azores have been present on navigational charts since the mid-1300s and have been settled by the Portuguese in the early 1400s. These Islands give testament to the sea faring and exploring nature of Portugal in the age of discovery. Horta Harbor, in the island of Faial, has been the mandatory meeting point for the international sailing community, especially during the West to East Atlantic crossing season that happens between April and July. You can expect to find crews from all over the world, who meet everyday at the famous Peter Cafe Sport bar, to enjoy the first - of several - tap beer after weeks at sea.
The Azores will be our first European stop after our West to East Trans-Atlantic crossing. From here, we will be continuing on to Iceland. This is definitely an Expedition level Blue Water Passage. Iceland is an astonishing volcanic island, stage for big productions like Game of Thrones, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga . It was also the home of the first epic Real estate scam.
In an effort to get settlers to move on to Greenland, it was given the more favorable name by Erik the Red, a Norwegian who was fleeing from Norway and first went to Iceland before settling in Greenland. The truth is, that swapping the names of Iceland and Greenland would be a more accurate depiction. But….brokers haven’t changed much in the last thousand years or so.
The passage from the Azores to Iceland is one for the books, a serious North Atlantic crossing.
The second leg of these back to back expeditions is the passage from Iceland to Plymouth. Going trought the Irish Channel and arriving to the famous harbor of Plymouth, were the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on board the Mayflower in 1620.
There are places on the planet you can only get to by boat and Libra has her eyes set on several of them in coming seasons. Foremost among them is the Legendary Northwest Passage. This passage is so remote that at times astronauts on the international Space Station are the closest fellow humans.
In 2022 our sights are set on the Northwest passage. This will be the first attempt by an American Small Boat, in company of two others, to do an East/West transit of the passage. We are partnering with specific universities and researchers to provide a unique platform for study climate and biological research along the way.
The East to West journey is particularly challenging for ice flows. Each year there are yachts that attempt this transit, but few succeed due to weather and the ever-changing ice flows. It’s a gamble every time, and you can draw as busted hand on a glacier that was dealt 10,000 years ago. The Northwest Passage has always been a subject of myth and legend and has been the Holy Grail of maritime trade routes, the Ice has always been the issue and still is today. In recent years, with climate change, there has been less Arctic Sea ice, increasing the probabilities that the passage will be open to smaller boats.
SUEZ CANAL TRANSIT
Only two major sea routes have been created by Man. The Suez Canal, that was completed in 1869 and the Panama Canal, completed in 1914. Both of these were major engineering marvels of their times and would be great accomplishments even if built today.
The Suez Canal was built by the Suez Canal Company beginning in 1859 and ending in 1869. The Canal officially opened on November 17th, 1869. Since its opening it has become a major part of international Trade routes. Joining the Mediterranean and the red Sea has dramatically reduced the distance between the North Atlantic and The Indian Ocean, thereby improving access to Europe from Asia and vice versa. The route through the canal saves many thousands of miles on a voyage and eliminates the need to round the Southern tip of Africa. Geographically, it forms the unofficial border between the Asian Continent and The African Continent. The Suez Canal traverses a region of the world rich in culture and history. It connects the Holy Land to the Seas plied by Sindbad the sailor.
Libra will begin her Suez Canal Expedition in the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Tel Aviv, Israel, striking a course for the northern end of the Canal, at Port Said. From there we will complete a North to South transit coming out into the Red Sea at Port Tewfik 193 kilometers later. During this expedition you will witness the history and the processes of how the canal works and how it came to be. We will have an Egyptian national onboard to smooth this process as required by law.
Once the transit is complete, we will visit historical and cultural sites by sail. Highlights of this trip include avoiding gunfire from shore and trying not to go broke bribing every manager and official along the Canal. It can be a real Indiana Jones kind of an adventure!
All of our passages are more adventure than most can handle in the information age. But if you are looking for that next level twist, join us for an Expedition level passage. You will never eat white bread again!