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Lisa Blair Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica crosses International Date Line Tracey Whittaker
Lisa Blair Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica crosses International Date Line Tracey Whittaker

Lisa Blair

Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line

At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.

The International Dateline, established in 1884, passes through the mid-Pacific Ocean and roughly follows a 180 degrees longitude north-south line on the Earth. It is located halfway round the world from the prime meridian—the zero degrees longitude established in Greenwich, England, in 1852.

The point in time of crossing is marked with a sense of occasion when traditionally a sailor “toasts” the roman god Neptune by offering champagne to the water.

Said Lisa Blair: “I am so excited to have reached this milestone of the trip safely.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of crossing the International Date Line in 20 knot northerly winds, a swell of two metres and a stunning sunrise’, she said.

Lisa’s circumnavigation attempt follows the route of the Antarctic Cup Racetrack.

The Antarctica Cup is a non-stop race of around 14,000 nautical miles – circumnavigating Antarctica and passing the three most notorious capes on the planet – Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn, Cape Agulhas. It begins in Albany, Western Australia.

Only one man has attempted this route, Russian Fedor KONYUKOV.

Departing on Australia Day 2008 KONYUKOV crossed the International Date Line at 21 days, 13 hours and 53 minutes and 17 seconds.

Lisa’s current time places her 01 day, 00 hours, 48 minutes and 38 seconds ahead.

KONYUKOV returned from the voyage to record a total time of 102 days 00 hours 56 minutes 50secs following his 16,400 mile circuit of Antarctica.

Approaching her 21st day at sea this Sunday, Lisa Blair has passed two other significant milestones:

1. Passing The Great South East Cape (off Tasmania) on 2 February 2017 at EDST 12:00
2. Passing The South West Cape (off New Zealand) on 8 February 2017 at UTC 23:10:51 (NZST 11.10.51)

Her next, the infamous Cape Horn is located off the coast of Chile and is the southern-most point of South America. It is an area often frequented by icebergs, huge waves and plagued by gale-force winds, and will be Lisa’s most challenging conditions on the journey to date.

Lisa expects to reach Cape Horn in approximately three weeks.

“The most difficult part of my journey starts now with the “Everest” of sailing, Cape Horn. Fedor’s logs paint a vivid picture of just how cold and difficult this area can be.

Both I and my boat Climate Action Now are doing really well but this is where both of our capabilities will really be tested”, she said.

by Tracey Whittaker

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