Sailor, filmmaker heads for Northwest Passage

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In just four weeks, a Nordhavn 57 owner will embark on the journey of a lifetime.

Sprague Theobald, onboard his boat, Bagan, will depart Newport, R.I., on June 14 bound for the Northwest Passage. Throughout history, only a handful of sailboats have ever tried to transit the remote Northwest Passage and nearly all have failed.

Inspired by the story behind the Northwest Passage, Theobald, an Emmy-award-winning filmmaker, and his team have committed to producing a documentary film about the area.

Today, mostly large submarines and icebreakers go through the passage, but because some ice has receded, the strait will be exposed, allowing non-specialized boats to pass through. Five countries lay claim to the region: Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States.

“This is a documentary that’s just waiting to be made,” Theobald said in a statement.

Sailing adventures are in Theobald’s blood. Nearly two centuries ago, his grandfather six generations removed ran a shipping fleet out of Boston bound for San Francisco and Asia and his uncle eight generations removed became the first person to sail a sloop around the world.

The film’s Web site features the navigational and geographical history of the area, crew bios, details about the ship and its route, as well as blog entries and film clips from underway.

Theobald has also partnered up with many companies to sponsor the trip.

A bon voyage party will take place June 12 in Newport where sponsors and guests will be able to view a 10-minute trailer of the film and attend a Q&A with Theobald and his crew, and tour Began.


4 comments on “Sailor, filmmaker heads for Northwest Passage

  1. sandyv

    I’m am very excited about this upcoming documentary. Thanks Trade Only for sharing it with us. I’ve checked out the film website and book marked it as a favorite so that I can check on their progress. I wish the film crew and all those aboard a safe journey. I hope you’ll update us on their voyage and return. 

  2. Suzanne Pogell

    Bon Voyage! All of us here at Womanship wish Sprague Theobald and his crew a magnificent jouney. Looking forward to our own 25th Anniversary, December 28, sailing the North Passage with the Bagan crew would be a great way to celebrate!

  3. Steve Mac

    The film should be enlightening.  He will following in the path of John Bockstoce of New Bedford who sucessfully transited the NW passage in his yacht Belvedere over a decade ago.  Fair winds and good luck to the crew of Bagan!

  4. Larry Polster

    I have seen some of the amazing photos taken by a Kadey-Krogen owner who made the trip back in 2001 in another pleasure yacht.  At the time, they were the 110th vessel to do so but the first motor yacht to do it unassisted in one season (meaning they did not have to be pulled out by an Ice Breaker).  Back then, the window of opportunity when the ice choke point opened in Peel Sound was only a few days.  Unfortunately for the environment the last few years this area has been open for 8 or 9 weeks! In any event, expect the footage to be awe inspiring.  Fair winds and following seas to the yacht Bagan.

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