The 4x4 of the sea takes on the world


Leather upholstery, flat-screen TV’s and panoramic windows are not what you’d usually expect to find on a yacht bound for the Arctic wastes. But Mike Horn’s Pangaea four-year circumnavigation is not your average expedition.

Inspired by Jacques Cousteau, the 42-year old adventurer is aiming to take three groups of 24 young adults from 6 continents every year on parts of his four-year voyage. They will explore the natural world, from the coral reefs of Australia to the Himalayas, the Gobi desert and the Arctic and Antarctic.

Their base will be the 35-metre Pangaea. The boat has sailed over 10,000 miles since she was launched in March this year. Constructed in Brazil from Aluminium made with hydroelectric power, she was built in Sao Paulo by local people, many miles from the sea.

“She’s a 4×4 of the sea” says Mike. 35 metres long, she can draw as little as 2.5m due to her retractable rudder and keel, and is designed to ride up onto ice to break it. Immensely strong, she has been designed to be frozen in the ice if necessary. Moored in St Katherines Dock in London on Monday she dwarfed all around her.

‘She’s the ideal tool’ says Mike. On a recent trip from Greenland she maintained an easy 14 knots. Equipped with specially-commissioned nets to clean up plastic floating in the sea, the boat places a strong emphasis on environmental conscience – and each crewmember will be fitted with a watch which records their power usage.

“She’s a platform from which young adults can experience and explore the natural world and learn about the challenges we face and the possible solutions.” says Mike. “I believe we must begin to take real steps towards ensuring our planet can be respected and appreciated by all future generations.”

The expedition begins on October 9, with the ship sailing from Punta Arenas in Chile to Antarctica. The route then moves through Australasia, China, Russia, the North Pole, Greenland, and North America, before finally arriving back in Punta Arenas.

Keep an eye on the pages of YM to find out more about his expedition and the
impressive boat, and visit to keep up.