Miles Clark, who established a new sailing record in Europe, was born in the town of Magerherafelt in Northern Ireland. Clark was a geography student at Downing College in England, and his strong sense of curiosity and international adventure eventually led him to become a freelance travel writer and photographer. Clark also served as features editor of Yachting Monthly.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s inspired Clark to pursue new opportunities to travel through Russian internal waters. Consequently, under the sponsorship of National Geographic, Clark departed Northern Ireland during the summer of 1992 in his family’s 57-year-old wooden yacht Wild Goose for the Arctic Circle to start an ambitious voyage of nearly 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers).
After circling Norway, Clark headed towards Russia and sailed to the White Sea. He then made his way to Lake Onega via the White Sea-Baltic Canal, followed by a journey through the Volga-Baltic waterway to the Rybinsk Reservoir and the Volga River. Clark subsequently guided Wild Goose through the Volga-Don Canal and the Don River to reach the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea before returning to Northern Ireland.
Clark completed this journey despite obstacles ranging from icy waters to Russia’s formidable bureaucratic red tape. The 36-foot-long Wild Goose became the first non-Russian boat to make this extensive voyage within Russia.
Clark’s maritime achievement earned him the Cruising World Medal for Outstanding Seamanship. He died unexpectedly just a few months after completing his historic voyage, however. At the time of his death, Clark had been working on a book about the trip. His father, using the daily records that Clark kept during those travels, completed the book. It was published as “Sailing Round Russia.”
For more information on Miles Clark, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Clark .
Image of Miles Clark (right) on the Wild Goose with his parents captured from Wallace Clark The Seafarer and the Wild Goose.