" Our whole story begins with the desire and especially the dream of a girl and her father. We have been dreaming of this mythical passage and its virgin landscapes since forever. "
Crossing the Northwest Passage is, first and foremost, a childhood dream: a dream of unexplored landscapes, the great blue sea, and adventure!
Clara Dumard, a 24-year-old pharmacy student, decided to make this dream come true with her father, Christian Dumard, a professional navigator and specialist in meteorology.
The duo embarked on this incredible adventure in July 2018 aboard an 11.40m fiberglass Sun fast 37 sailboat, reinforced for Arctic sailing, which they named “Happy Trip”.
A whole year of work and preparation was needed to prepare for this ambitious expedition, with one goal in mind: set the record for crossing the Northwest Passage, without assistance and without stopover.
The expedition lasted 3 months, during which the duo made 2 crossings of the North Atlantic and 2 crossings of the Baffin Sea. Overall, they sailed 9000 miles together, including 3500 above the Arctic circle, where they could only sail without motor.
They also had to cross two depressions going and returning from Greenland. These extreme conditions make Cape Farewell one the most dangerous sailing areas in the world.
However, this travel was the opportunity for Clara and her father to marvel at breathtaking landscapes, untouched by any human passage.
They also encountered many different marine mammals - such as orcs, seals, whales and polar bears - from the great animal diversity that characterizes Lancaster Sound. It is also a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of our environment, our oceans and to make everyone think about how to take positive action.
“We were at the forefront of the consequences of global warming.”
Clara and Christian planned their departure carefully, as a smooth crossing depends on the melting ice. Unfortunately, for the first time, the Northwest Passage has remained blocked this year. In fact, the pack ice in northwestern Greenland has melted twice in 2018, causing ice sheets to drift towards Lancaster Sound and blocking the Northwest Passage.
While the crossing did not happen, Clara and her father nevertheless lived an extraordinary human adventure rich in memories and carrying a strong message, since the purpose of this trip was to raise public awareness about the issue of global warming. However, they promised each other to try it again next year!
Essilor Sun Solution is proud to have supported this incredible father-daughter expedition across the oceans!