Adrian Flanagan begins the final leg of his 'vertical' circumnavigation 2/5/08

Adrian Flanagan’s attempt to be the first ever single-handed yachtsman to vertically circumnavigate the globe was on course again yesterday (1 May) as he and Barrabas left Norway bound for the UK.

The only yachtsman to have ever sailed Russia’s Arctic Coast along the Northern Sea Route single-handed, Adrian has already sailed 30,000nm. His final destination is the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the Hamble River. Adrian writes:

“I arrived in Mehamn, Norway on Sunday evening. The mountainous sentiels protecting the town were covered with snow, the temperature close to freezing. I spotted Barrabas from the air and my heart lifted at the sight of her. I spent the first night in the Nordic Safari lodge, and then went aboard the following morning.

Barrabas was as familiar as a well-loved armchair or a favourite coat. The first order of business was getting the engine started after her winter hibernation. I brought her alongside and put the sails on, collecting them from the loft of the Nordkyn Seafood company, Oddvar Jenssen’s business – he had been looking after the boat.

Preparing to depart is always a tense time for me. I bought a few provisions, checked all the onboard systems and took time to prepare myself for the homeward leg of the Alpha Global Expedition. It is the 1st of May – Louise’s birthday and a national holiday here in Norway. It seems an auspicious date to leave.”