Yachtsman retraces the route of a tragic 1977 climbing and sailing expedition

In 1977, the 79-year-old legendary mountaineer, WWII veteran and yachtsman, Bill Tilman was lost at sea along with seven others. The converted Dutch barge, En Avant, and her crew was lost somewhere between Rio and the Falklands en route to Mount Foster on Smith Island to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula.

On 9 September, 2007, Angus Cater, whose friend Simon Richardson was aboard the yacht with Tilman, set out from the UK aboard Harrac, his 45ft (13.7m) yacht, in a quest to follow in that doomed voyage’s footsteps and reach Smith island.

The story of Harrac’s refit was published in PBO 492. Click here to purchase this article 

The crew of Harrac has been keeping a regular log of events, documenting each leg of the trip.

These can be read from the official Smith island Expedition website: 

The journey has not been without its setbacks. Harrac suffered a hull leak, resulting in lost time as she was hauled out for repairs, and then there was trouble trying to pass through the Panama Canal, and most recently, problems with the GPS software being unable to give a precise location reading.

The last newsletter explains how they’ve completed legs 2 and 3, (across the Atlantic and through the Panama Canal) are about to complete the leg 4 from Lima Peru to Ushaia, Argentina.

The crew is due to embark on the toughest leg of the trip, into the Southern Ocean.