Icy Adventures with Skip Novak
Monday, December 10, 2018
Written by Skip Novak
Pelagic Expeditions, a specialist in high latitude sailing adventures has been a partner with Raymarine going back decades. With our two purpose built sailing vessels the 16m Pelagic built in 1987 (running the LightHouse 2 platform with an e125 Series MFD) and the 23 meter Pelagic Australis launched in 2003 (running LightHouse 2 on the primary e125 MFD with i70 Instruments) we are recognized as one of the few pioneers of the genre. Thirty years ago it started out as a one off adventure and evolved slowly into a successful business model that interestingly few have followed. It is certainly a niche and a cool to cold one at that!
Our job is to provide and facilitate high latitude voyages that are ‘hands on’ and certainly not in the mold of classic chartering. I like to call them ‘voyages of participation’ where both the guests and the crew work together in all aspects (read sailing, dinghy handling, but also dish washing and cooking if able!) to get the most out of the experience, rather than taking a holiday. Our clientele is a global mix of visitors, but also skiers, climbers, divers, kayakers, film makers and scientists all needing logistic support to achieve their goals. Granted, this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the exotic locations of Antarctica, the high Arctic, the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego including Cape Horn have rewards for those who venture to go there. The air is clear and bracing, the landscapes are pristine, the wildlife prolific and in spite of a minor explosion in expedition ship tourism there is still a sense of frontier about it.
These regions have a few other things in common: high winds, big seas and a lot of uncharted water. And that’s where a partner like Raymarine becomes instrumental to our success. Our Pelagic philosophy is belt and braces. Reliability is key and redundancy also plays a big part in the systems on board. Raymarine could not ask for a better instrument testing platform than the Pelagics.