As I ready Mo for her jump from Halifax northwards, I am reminded of her first Northwest Passage attempt, summarized here by Clark Stede in a 1991 article in Yachting Monthly.
Aboard Moli is a small hardbound book titled Rund Amerika, the story of my boat’s initial adventures with then owners, Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini. It’s in German. I can admire the photos, like the one above, but I can’t read a word.
So, I was grateful to receive this week the below Yachting Monthly article from 1991 where Stede/Poncini, in translation, describe their Northwest Passage in Asma.
By way of reminder, Asma (then Taonui, Gjoa, and now Moli) was commissioned in 1989 from Dubbel and Jesse, a renowned German yard specializing in custom aluminum sailing yachts, for a specific adventure–to circumnavigate the American continents. At the time, the number of private expeditions to successfully transit the Northwest Passage could be counted on the fingers of one hand, and no one had attempted a complete loop of the land mass that included, at its southern extremity, Cape Horn.
There are many things to note in the article, the halting nature of progress in a world of floating rocks, the rapidly changing weather, the confined spaces with little room to hide, the cold…but what grabbed me was the advice of one Inuit, “Patience and energy–that’s the power that will bring you forward in the Arctic.”