Australian yachtswoman Lisa Blair has set sail from Albany on her second attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica and break a world record, collecting crucial scientific data along the way.
The 38-year-old Queenslander left from Albany Waterfront Marina on Monday, waiving goodbye to friends and supporters who had gathered to cheer her off.
It will be her second attempt to break the world record held by Russian Fedor Konyukhov, the first person to complete a solo sailing circumnavigation of Antarctica in 2008.
Blair live-streamed her departure from Albany to Facebook.
“See you in three months, thank you Albany,” she said.
“Antarctica here we come, I can’t wait.
“It’s sad leaving Albany because the people here have been incredible helping me get ready for the record.”
Motoring out to the Rotary Lookout, Blair hoisted her sail and headed for Breaksea Island, the official starting point of her adventure.
In January 2017, after more than three years of planning and fundraising, Blair set off from Albany on her first attempt at the world record.
However, 72 days into her voyage, her 50-foot yacht dismasted in a freak electrical incident that cost Blair her chance at breaking the world record.
Blair managed to save her yacht, build a jury rig and motor sail into Cape Town with fuel from a passing container ship.
She started her voyage again two months later, heading back to Australia where on July 25, she became the first woman to sail solo unassisted around Antarctica with one stop.
Blair’s 2022 attempt will see her spend about 90 to 100 days at sea.
Spreading a message of climate change action everywhere she goes, Blair will be conducting ocean studies she hopes could be crucial in helping scientists learn more about the Southern Ocean.
Partnering with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Bureau of Meteorology, Blair will be gathering oceanic health readings and microplastic sampling data for the global scientific community.
Talking to the Advertiser last month, Blair said a “fairly normal” day on the Southern Ocean involved facing 10m waves she likened to “little mountains”.
“It is a unique ocean. For most sailors they would never want to sail it as it can be incredibly dangerous,” she said.
To track Blair’s journey, visit lisablairsailstheworld.com/tracker.