Publishers rarely get manuscripts of
historical importance "over the transom,"
especially ones done in calligraphy, with beautiful
illustrations, about striking deeds of unusual adventure
and courage. Arctic Odyssey is such a book.
In a time when corporate sponsorship
and media hype dull our senses, we find it satisfying
to know that three Canadian friends can each put $400
into a food kitty and sail off in a 27-foot homemade
boat to do what most arctic explorers would consider
unthinkable. Strong-willed Captain Winston Bushnell
designed and built his steel sloop, Dove III, then set
forth, not on a whim, but on a carefully-planned voyage
through the famed Northwest Passage. This world circumnavigator
brought his boat and crew through the icy waters, making
them the fourth yacht in history to transit the Passage
in a single season. Only 57 vessels have ever completed
the Northwest Passage.
With this superior feat of seamanship
and daring, Dove's captain and crew-Bushnell, George
Hone, and Len Sherman-have joined a select group of
arctic yachtsmen led by Willy de Roos, who sailed in
1977 from a point on the Arctic Circle off Greenland
to the Arctic Circle off Alaska, a distance of 4,000
nautical miles-the first single-season transit.
By chance, Dove III met up with The
Croatian Tern, captained by Mladen Sutej, near the halfway
point in the Northwest Passage. Sutej's expedition was
fully sponsored, with all the high tech gear imaginable,
but ironically his passage ended about one week later
than Dove, making Croatian Tern the fifth boat to complete
the Northwest Passage in a single season. [See The
Arctic to the Antarctic - Sailing the Edges of the
About the author:
Len Sherman was the third crew member on the epic Northwest
Passage voyage of the Dove III, one of the first west-to-east
single-year passages on record. A commercial artist,
Len captures in wonderful pen and ink drawings and journal
entries, the beauty and solitude of the far north, as
well as its courageous, adventurous people.
6" x 9"