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.

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