Adventurer Matt Rutherford, who is attempting to non-stop solo circumnavigate the Americas, has made it through the Northwest Passage, although not without incident. Rutherford reports the following on his blog about his almost capsize in which his mast was in the water:
“I was in the mix-master sailing along. At the time I’d never heard of the mix-master. I was confused because it was only blowing 35kts with higher gusts but the seas were breaking as if it was blowing much harder. Waves kept crashing in my cockpit, I must of been pooped 20 times in 24 hours. I reduced sail to just a scrap of jib, but like I said it was only blowing 35kts.
I have a translucent slide for my companionway hatch so it makes for a good back window. I remember looking back behind my boat just by chance and seeing this monster wave towering above my stern. I said ‘Oh Cra….’ but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth before I was flying threw the air. Next thing I know I’m rolling around on my port side window, half pressed up against my cabin top. St. Brendan bounced back on her feet quickly; the Vega is a good boat, owners have good reason to be proud. It was a rogue wave, not some 80 footer or something crazy like that, but it was much larger than the waves around it. I just happened to be right under it when it decided to break.
About 5 hours later at 3 a.m. I was trying to dodge a fishing vessel in the rain and fog and I noticed a sickly sweet smell. I knew right away it was the smell of wires burning. I ripped open my access point for the new wiring I added before I left and all looked fine. Then I ripped open the access to the old wiring and found that for some reason, some of the old wiring picked that moment to burn. I took a knife and cut the wires and like that it was over. It was quite a day! The only real damage I had from the knockdown was my poor old dodger. Its frame is bent, its glass is blown out in several places and it looks like it lost a fight with Freddy Crouger.”
Check out the other trials and trbulations Rutherford has encountered at www.solotheamericas.org.