After 184 days, Queensland sailor Lisa Blair has been welcomed by cheering fans upon her return from travelling around Antarctica.
Blair set off from Albany in Western Australia in January and is set to be named the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, pending official ratification from the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
The journey was not without its challenges, as the mast on Blair’s yacht, Climate Action Now, came down in heavy seas while three-quarters of the way in to the trip. Blair was stuck in heavy seas almost 1660km from the Antarctic shore. She was forced to build a jury rig and motor sail herself safely to Cape Town in South Africa, where she spent two months repairing the damage.
Blair restarted the journey on Sunday, June 11 and faced seasickness, snowstorms and exhaustion as she faced the final leg of her expedition. Despite the challenges, Blair said that the experience was worth it, “Every bit of pain, every sail change and all the bitter cold –it was definitely worth it,” she said.
Blair’s journey has been to raise awareness about climate change, through advocacy group Climate Action Now. Blair says that she has noticed the impact of climate change since she began sailing, and hopes that her journey can raise much needed funds and awareness to come up with a solution.