Ocean Cruising Club

s/v Issuma - For a voyage through the Northwest Passage shorthanded

The award recognizes Richard’s 2011-2012 voyage through the Northwest Passage from Cartwright, Labrador to Victoria, B.C. in the 50 foot steel staysail schooner Issuma. Richard had to abandon an earlier attempt in 2010 when he almost lost the mast due to rigging failure in the Labrador Sea and had to return to Cartwright and then New York for repairs. Issuma left Cartwright on July 24, 2011 with a crew of two, one a Merchant Marine Officer and the other a 20-year-old from Victoria B.C.

Although they were late in the season, having been held up for three weeks in Cartwright waiting for engine parts, the light ice conditions in 2011 allowed for a fast passage. They cleared into Canada at Cambridge Bay and made two more stops in the Canadian Arctic before rounding Cape Barrow and entering the Bering Sea. His crew left Richard in Kodiak and Richard sailed solo across the Gulf of Alaska to Yakutat, Alaska and then to Sitka where he spent the winter. In the spring Richard sailed solo down to Victoria arriving May 1, 2012 topping off the challenge with a voyage successfully completed.

The fact that he persevered in his quest and succeeded with a short-handed crew demonstrates his capabilities in the face of challenge.