The adventure has started
Published on 02.08.2010 - The Northern Passage 2010
After a brief week of administrative delay in the first Russian port, Murmansk, the three navigators have taken to the sea in order to head east. The great adventure has started…
Borge Ousland had decided to remain for just a couple of days in Murmansk - time to re-examine the trimaran and to accomplish the last administrative formalities. But the Russian administration had decided otherwise; indeed, although all boat’s papers (charts of the envisaged route, logbooks, and so on) and its equipment had been quickly checked and approved by the port authorities, and were therefore in order, some insurance for this itinerary still had to be taken out - which Ousland has called `Search and Rescue Insurance' - covering the rescue expenses if anything were to happen either to the boat or to its crew on the way. Ousland also specified in his blog dated 27 July that he was astonished that such a document was required because of the fact that Russia was a signatory of the International Maritime Search and Rescue Convention 1979.
Foreseeing the unforeseen of this kind, Borge had asked his friend from Vicaar, Viktor Boyarsky, to come to Murmansk so that he could help the expedition with its final administrative formalities.
It was thanks to him in any case that Borge and his skipper friend Thorleif had been able to be accommodated for a few days - for the fun of it- in the prestigious cabins of an icebreaker, NS Lenin, launched in 1957 but in dry-dock since 1989, by the side of which they were anchored. In fact, NS Lenin was the first civil nuclear surface ship; it had been disarmed because its hull had suffered too much from friction with the ice and had been transformed into a boat museum. It is currently in Atomflot, a nuclear icebreaker base in Mourmansk.
This administrative wait had in any case enabled Borge to hold a press conference (aboard NS Lenin precisely), which had led to a stampede of the natives towards the port for the purpose of seeing the Norwegian explorer’s trimaran.
This stopover has also provided the opportunity for the third man, Stanislav Kostyashin, to go aboard the trimaran for the north-eastern passage part of the expedition.
On 28 July, the official papers finally arrived on board. That evening, the trimaran left the fjord of Murmansk. It was 9 p.m., local time.
Since then, Borge and his two shipmates have been confronted by south-south-easterly headwinds. They are heading towards the Strait of Yugorsky, between the island of Novaya Zemlya and the continent of Siberia.