- An interesting chat with Amyr Klink
I had the pleasure of meeting with Amyr Klink the other day. For those who don’t know, Amyr is a Brazilian explorer and sailer who has gone on fantastic expeditions around the world by sea, has sailed around the Antarctic, and from the Antarctic to the Arctic – to name just a few of his projects – and has also worked in building his own vessels.
A friend at the Ministry of Culture suggested I should speak with him, so I had contacted his office a few weeks ago. To my surprise, a week ago before I went to New York, I got a call from him. Initially, to my embarrassment, I didn’t realise who it was – I was at my office and was in a bit of a world of my own. After a couple of minutes, it clicked and we chatted for a good half hour about the project and arranged to meet when I got back.
And so it was. When I got to his office, we had a coffee and talked for about an hour and a half – he talked about the yachts he had built and showed photos from the construction and his expeditions to the Antarctic, and also talked about the problems that he had faced on his journeys such as sailing between ice flows without getting the yacht crushed. We talked about the challenges that we would be facing en-route – our question about how exactly do we get to the Antarctic was one of the first things we discussed.
This question became apparent after our chat with Andrew Dare – basically because of the seasonal windows for expeditions to the South Pole. Airplane is the last option we want to consider because of the environmental issues and it just isn’t really authentic exploration. So this leaves yacht or boat to arrive on the continent. The problem with this is that the ice around the continent only breaks up enough to allow us to land near a base in the middle of expedition season – so we would not be able to cross the Pole in one season. We would need at least two seasons, and to stay at a base on the continent for around six months or so as the freezing winter passes over us. Originally this struck us as not really an option, though the more we think about this, the more it seems like a promising idea. We would just be stuck with each other’s company for six months in the same place, which could be… interesting… and the whole project will take about four years to complete as opposed to three and a bit!
Among the other subjects we discussed included the idea of kite surfing. He described the experience of other explorers with kit surfing contraptions where they have slept in the capsule and been able to carry their supplies with them. Then there is the design to think about, with two/three skis protruding for stability; the materials to use… everything we need to think about as this will need to be custom-built for us…
And finally he suggested some interesting contacts that will hopefully be able to help us further with the expedition. So hopefully things will be moving further forward from here!