The sea-weary crew of six with Dave Thoreson of Okoboji was halfway into the 73-day trek on the edges of the Earth, trying to become the first American yacht to travel east to west through the Northwest Passage.The article also says this about last summer:
...six boats attempted passage - four successfully, although one was later lost in Alaskan seas.Remember, last fall it was widely claimed that in 2007, the Northwest Passage was open for "the first time ever". So were the four boats in 2007 really the first ever through the Northwest Passage?
The answer appears to be "yes, except for maybe about 106 other boats".
Note these excerpts from a 9/19/07 BBC article:
In 1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage, in a wooden sailboat.More on this topic is here.
But since then, about 110 boats had successfully completed the trip, said Mr Semotiuk. Thirty of those were recreational boats, most of which completed the journey in the past decade.