Swindon businessman and champion sailor Al Keck spent much of January on the adventure of his dreams, exploring the southern oceans and Antarctic coastline as part of the crew of Uhuru, skippered by his sailing pal and co-champion Steve Powell.
Al learned to sail at age 12 at South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre, and has since raced all over the UK and Europe, winning the Irish National Championship alongside Steve in 2009. He knows run web site design and search engine optimisation company toinfinity.com
“Steve’s current expedition is to sail the longest way round the world, covering 54,000 nautical miles in total, over a period of 5 to 7 years. It’s the greatest way to explore the world,” said Al. “The southern ocean is the most feared and revered of all open water, renowned for towering waves and high speed winds.”
However, on this occasion, the crew enjoyed near perfect sailing conditions down to the Antarctic Peninsula.“We visited a derelict old whaling station on Enterprise Island, and saw incredible wildlife including penguins, humpback and killer whales. We also visited Port Lockroy, home of the British Antarctic Heritage Trust museum, which is manned by volunteers during the summer months.
“Antarctica is an amazing area of our planet that is untouched and that people tend to forget about. It isn’t owned by any one particular country, but many countries maintain a presence there for the sake of any oil that might be found.”
The Uhuru rounded Cape Horn against prevailing winds and tides on 24 January before heading into Patagonia along Beagle Passage, which cuts through both Chilean and Argentinian territory, and can prove quite tricky for a boat flying the British ensign.
“I left the crew in Ushuaia, Argentina, to fly home via Buenos Aries," said Al. "I’m very grateful to my wife and 8 month old baby for being very accommodating about my trip of a lifetime,” said Al.
Follow Uhuru’s progress at http://blog.mailasail.com/uhuru/153