Adrian Flanagan due back in Hamble next week after 30, 000 miles

Adrian Flanagan is set to arrive back in Hamble next Wednesday, 21st May. He left the UK two and a half years ago aiming to become the first person to sail a ‘vertical circumnavigation’ – via both poles.

His 30,000 mile journey has twice been postponed due to ice and stormy conditions. His 40ft stainless steel sloop Barrabas was almost frozen in ice during the Arctic winter of 2006 while sailing north of Russia.

Then, when almost in sight of home, he was forced to abandon the yacht for the winter in Mehamn, Norway. He finally set sail again at the start of this month, aiming to complete the final leg of his voyage before the start of June.

He wrote in his journal: ‘Entering UK territorial waters bought a comfort similar to a favourite blanket – even the place names on the Shetland Islands conjured a soothing familiarity – Sullom Voe, Muckle Flugga, Lerwick. No more grappling with unpronounceable Russian or tongue-twisting Norwegian (even though some of the names in the Hebrides may have Viking origins). I am past the Shetlands now, south of them that is and past Fair Isle. The Orkneys are on my right, below the horizon. I am closer to London than some northern UK dwellers. That kind of abstract thought raises morale not that morale needs too much feeding with the third day of following winds which are set to continue driving me south at a good lick.’

Keep up with the final part of his journey here