Jimmy Cornell

Aventura on her way north

2 Mar

After spending the best part of the winter in a small marina close to Bergen on the west coast of Norway, Aventura is now heading for the Arctic.

Her sale was completed last week and the new owner, Oystein Storslett, and his crew are sailing her to their base at Tromso in the north of Norway.

Oystein’s company Arctic Explorers has been running a successful operation in recent years and the purchase of Aventura will allow them to expand their range by offering charter voyages to Spitsbergen (Svalbard) starting in late June.

The actual handover of Aventura was done in ...

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All is well that ends well

20 Sep

After the quick turnaround at Falmouth, we made a relatively fast passage to the Thames Estuary where we caught the favourable tide for the remaining 40 miles to London.

Shortly after we had passed the Thames tidal barrier, we reached the former Royal Albert Docks. It was from here that I had left in 1974 on the first Aventura with Gwenda, Doina and Ivan on our six year long round the word voyage.

As we turned at a wide river bend, the sight of Greenwich came into view.

Up on the hill above the Royal Naval College is the Greenwich ...

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With a little bit of help from my friends

18 Sep

Before this voyage comes to a happy and successful end I wish to use this opportunity to give my grateful thanks to all those who have made this ambitious project possible, and who continued to support me throughout the long time it took to complete.

I must, of course, start with Aventura herself, and those who created her.

The creators – Photo: Jon Amtrup/explorenorth.no

On the right side in this photo taken shortly before Aventura left the boatyard in Cherbourg in May last year, is Stephan Constance, the CEO of Le Grand Large, a group that comprises not only ...

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16 Sep

We made landfall at Falmouth, in SW England, early on Tuesday morning after a 20-days long, frustrating and stormy but also challenging and memorable 1950 miles passage.

By memorable I mean: not easily forgotten. The worst part of it was not only that we were unable to sail in the desired direction, but also the winter-like proportion of gale force winds. It reminded me of Jack London’s remark that the worst ever winter he could remember was summer in San Francisco.

Out for an afternoon sail Sunday 13 September

To top it all, in the last fours days we had ...

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Farewell Cape Farewell

7 Sep

I always wondered why the southernmost point of Greenland has attracted this attractive name. After nine days of struggling to get out of its grip, I know. Whoever named it, never wanted to see it again.

It took us all that time to reach a point of about 500 miles to the southeast of it, a distance we normally cover in three days. The immediate area to the south of Cape Farewell is notorious for the large concentration of ice in late spring and early summer but even more so for the breeding ground of depressions throughout the year.

The ...

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Mother Nature has the last word

2 Sep

For the last five days, since we left the Greenland coast, we have been fighting strong southeasterly winds that made it impossible for us to sail our desired course to the Azores.

The main culprit is a stationary and very powerful high west of the British Isles, extending more than halfway across the North Atlantic, which has been acting as preventing surface lows from moving more west to east and generate more favorable wind direction. With the latest forecasts predicting the situation to continue for at least another four days, it would have taken us 14 days or more reach ...

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Still in the Arctic

30 Aug

Having arrived safely in Nuuk, Dunbar and I were counting on a relatively uneventful 1800 miles passage to the Azores. To finish our sojourn in Greenland on a high, we decided to make a detour to visit the spectacular Prince Christian Sound.

Instead of a high, we ended up with a low, a real low.

Halfway to our hoped-for destination, the wind changed direction and was blowing strongly from southeast, which was exactly where we intended to sail… so we had no choice but abandon our plan and tack offshore.

These are not the photos I promised when I concluded ...

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Nuuk stopover

27 Aug

After almost two months in the High Arctic, arriving in Nuuk felt almost like coming home. As on Aventura’s two previous visits, we were welcomed warmly on arrival by the harbormaster Johannes Lindemans.

This time I had come prepared and presented Johannes with a dedicated copy of my atlas.
As there was no free space anywhere in the small boat harbour, we had to tie up alongside a boat flying the Russian flag. The crew came out to take our lines, and the captain called across: “So nice to see you again, Jimmy, last time we met at ...

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Crossing the Arctic Circle

23 Aug


Aventura crossed the Arctic Circle at dawn today. In the view of those who only consider a successful transit of the Northwest Passage by having crossed this symbolic gateway both on the way north and south, we have now done it.

Since we passed the latter point on 19 July, we have sailed 3728 miles. While working out that total, I also noticed that a few days ago Aventura had also clocked 20,000 miles since she had left Cherbourg in late May last year.

If our current voyage still counts as Aventura’s maiden voyage, this has been a ...

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It’s a long way to Nuuk

19 Aug

Fort Ross anchorage

After the excitement of having reached the Eastern Arctic, we were rewarded by a quiet night at anchor. But the euphoria was soon dampened by the prospect of the 1200 miles long passage to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. As I knew from last year, we could expect both strong winds and flat calms in the area ahead of us.

In due course we had both.

Jimmy, Dunbar, Martin and Chris at Fort Ross

Before we left Fort Ross, we went ashore to explore this remote location, once a trading station of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Two ...

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