When you are sailing on expeditions like this one, your crew is everything. Your family, your support team, your workmates, your councillors, your doctors, your friends. Not only do you have to live in close quarters with them for months and months on end but you have to put so much trust in your crewmates. Each time one of them takes the helm, or pulls on a rope or ties a knot you are trusting them with a lot. If you find yourself at the top of the mast with the hard deck and churning, freezing ocean below you, you really trust the person winching up the rope you are tied to, you are trusting the person who tied the knot on your harness, you are trusting the person on the helm not to gybe the boat. It is all about trust and with that comes great responsibility as a crew member to do the right thing, especially when you are far from any form of rescue or help. You learn to trust each other and with that, relationships form that become more like a family than a crew. This is the crew who are taking our old concrete ship up into the ice:
Captain of Infinity, Clemens has sailed his gypsy ship for over 20 years in the Pacific and to some of the worlds most remote locations. A father, captain, environmentalist and man of the sea.
Captain Clemens' other half, Sage is an artist, sailor and the mother of Infinity. She also bakes the best boat bread that ever did grace the high seas
CHLOE + Rhian
Chloe and Rhian, the two pirate kids of Clem and Sage, they were born on the sea (literally) and have possibly the best sea-legs out of anyone onboard.
Nico has spent years on infinity documenting it's many adventures but still tells me he can’t tie a single knot. But he does make award-winning movies and loves nothing more than a rum-filled coconut and a bonfire on a deserted island (this I can confirm).
Clemens' son, Reuben and daughter Tara grew up on Infinity, spending their entire childhood and most of their teenage years onboard before moving to Germany with their mother. They moved back to Infinity for this crazy adventure.
I feel like I'm right where I need to be on this expedition - with a camera in one hand and a rope in the other!
Scottish professional sailor who gets paid to hang out on super yachts. Nothing Andy loves more than a mug of hot coffee and a long chat about boats. He was last seen bringing down a stripper pole in Dutch Harbour while trying his hand at the craft of exotic dance after a few horns of ale.
Ayack is our smooth-talking French sailor who is a true craftsman. He's a sail-maker, leatherworker, blacksmith and very handy on the deck of a boat. I have also come to notice he holds some very strong views on cheese.
Our outdoor equipment fanatic and aspiring hand model Neil. Not only does he have a thousand bucks-worth of booze stashed under his bunk, but this rum-running Viking also brought along a banjo (which I am yet to hear him play)!
Possum hunter, commercial salmon fisher, Hula-hooper, Arctic guide and our number one cook onboard. Only she can possibly make dried and canned vegan food taste good in the coming months at sea!
Petie, our Swedish crew-mate who is the only sailor I've ever seen who can repeatedly throw up over the side of a boat and steer her flawlessly at the same time. He also takes hugs very seriously and gives them out generously.
Our Indian Guru, Saurav can often be found wandering our icy decks singing melancholy tunes to the moon like a scene straight out of a classic Bollywood movie.
Paul + Charlotte
Taking a break from a voyage on their own cosy sailboat, we met Paul and Charlotte in Vanuatu and they will come with us for our attempt at the Northwest Passage. I have no doubt, Paul will be adorning full Roald Amundsen attire the entire journey.
Our young Mexican sailor, Manuela is about as passionate about sailing as you can get. Always bright and bubbly, even in the most drab conditions, she’s a pleasure to have on deck.
I have no doubt our French-Aussie sailor Victor would have no problems talking under wet concrete! A chatty fellow and one of our hardest workers onboard, Victor will jump at any opportunity to get his hands dirty and for this reason, he seems to have taken over most of my jobs in our filthy bilge (not complaining.. thanks matey!).
If it’s spiritual guidance you are looking for, Diana has all your auras and chakras sorted. Often seen leading the crew on guided breathing-yoga-meditation-chanting-ecstatic-dancing rituals, she’ll probably have us levitating through the Northwest Passage. Nothing to worry about after all!
Anouk decided to come down from her home in the Canadian mountains for a shot at life on old briney.. She’ll be switching brown bears for polar bears and snow boards for surfboards on this epic adventure! She spent the best part of a month helping me glue up our ripped sails and we’re still talking so that’s a good sign we’re going to get on alllllrrriiight!
A man who describes swimming in -1°C (30°F) water in his budgy-smugglers as “a little chilly”, I've got no doubt this French-English swimming enthusiast is going to the right place.