Chinese sailboat officially begins circling the Arctic

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Chinese painter captain Zhai Mo and his sailors crossed the Bering Strait on their sailboat earlier on Saturday. Sailing in the Arctic Ocean for the first time, if successful, Captain Zhai and his team will become the first humans to complete the tour of the Arctic non-stop over the next three months.

This non-stop navigation began on June 30, 2021, from the Huangpu River in Shanghai, in eastern China. It has crossed the East Sea, the Tsushima Strait, the Sea of ​​Japan and the Northwest Pacific Ocean in the past four weeks. And his ship will start circling the Arctic Ocean from the Northeast Passage to the Northwest Passage, which is the most difficult part of the whole journey.

“The most dangerous part is the ice in the Northwest Passage,” Zhai told CGTN in his interview. He stressed that his boat is due to arrive at the Bering Strait by July 25, no earlier or later options there as the Northeast Passage only opens for a very short time. His boat must cross the passage during the melting “window” to complete the round-the-world trip and exit the Bering Strait before freezing again. Otherwise, the sailboat must resolve the ice problem.

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Although he was the first Chinese to sail around the world solo on a sailboat, Zhai is a professional painter. He was born in a small town in the Tai Mountain region, east China’s Shandong Province, and never touched a boat until he was 30 years old. But after cruising around New Zealand, he felt he could never stop being in the water.


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