Global adventurer forced to make pitstop in Alaska 11/8/06

Adrian Flanagan who set sail from Falmouth last October has pulled into Nome, Alaska to carry out essential repairs to Barrabas his 11m stainless steel sloop.

Flanagan who has now been at sea for over nine months on his north-south global record attempt decided he needed to lift the boat and assess/repair the damage to prop shaft before continuing north.

The damage, which occurred over two week’s ago preventing the use of the engine, made life difficult for Flanagan as he made his final approach to Nome. Commenting from Barrabus Flanagan said: “After closing with the mountainous Alaskan coast, I made it to within a couple of miles of Nome and into very shallow water. Unable to manoeuvre into port without the use of the engine, Juliana III, a local fishing boat came out and towed me into the harbour. It was a busy day for the crew of Juliana III, breaking away from a rescue of another fishing boat which was shipping water 20 miles to the east of Nome.”

Having arrived in port, Flanagan continued: “Nome is a real melting pot of old and new, an ethnic jamboree of Inuit and Caucasian, Chinese and African, of systems and styles both ancient and modern. But despite its complexities and contradictions (new $300,000 homes surrounded by shacks – brand-new cars parked in lots with rusting carcasses as near neighbours) Nome cannot shake off the reek of the frontier, the gleam of the goldrush.

“As with my previous experience of the US, the people are very friendly and interested in the Alpha Global Expedition. I have been here but scant hours and already have been taken for a meal (Chinese) and had offers to freely use a private house’s bathroom for showers and washing and drying machine as well as several offers of vehicles (plus driver) for collecting, carrying and it seems any other use I can think of.

“I had some concerns as to how the boat might be lifted out of the water and if accomplished whether there would be facilities to test the propeller shaft for true alignment and appropriate repair. These aspects have been more or less resolved and Barrabas should be feeling air on her keel very soon.”