AN ISLAND adventurer has set out to traverse the infamous Northwest passage through the frozen Arctic Ocean.
With strong northerly winds expected towards the end of this week, Richard Nicolson, 46, of Cowes, was keeping a nervous eye on the forecast as the team prepared to catch 'the gap’.
More people have climbed Everest or rounded Cape Horn than navigated the icebound seas linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Last week, Richard, a father-of-two, flew to Nome, Alaska, to join a self-funded team of five, led by experienced ice sailor Bob Shepton, 78, on a expedition which will survey and video the Arctic seabed.
Writing on his blog on Tuesday, Richard said: "We are effectively 500 miles south of Barrow Point, located in the north west corner of Alaska.
"Major issue; there is nowhere to run to for the coming 800 miles — no storm shelter, no harbour and we are expecting a northerly, possibly a gale, at the end of the week. The worst case is we get there and have to do a 180 degree turn and run south.
"The skipper asked for our views and, bearing in mind how long the others have been waiting, the unanimous view was to give it a go."
Follow Richard’s progress at www.richardnicolson.com