Andy & Mia

ICEBEAR Offshore // Heading South Again

22 Aug

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I’m writing from the little ‘stuga’ in Åland, sat in a grey living room chair with my feet propped up on the coffee table and the laptop, well, in my lap. The cabin belongs to Mia’s best friend Johanna’s dad, and is situated on a lovely little peninsula amongst pine trees and moss-covered forest, overlooking a small inlet which eventually, after myriad twists and turns, leads out to sea and into the Baltic.

We’ve got a lot of history here. Åland was the first place I visited outside of Sweden, when I first came to Sweden in 2007. We celebrated ...

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IceBear update: Lunenburg to Annapolis

21 Jul

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Update from ICEBEAR // July 21, 10.00

As I am typing this, I am sitting at the farm house in Sweden watching the tracker on the website, curiously waiting for the next update from Andy & ICEBEAR via the YB tracker or the Sat phone. Now I know what it feels like for the families back home, following the progress from the home. The tracker and the new messages we have been posted along with it is a nice treat for us not being onboard, and I thought I could cut together a short blog with some updates from Andy....

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Mia: Back in Sweden while IceBear is sailing south

21 Jul

A very nice day to fly back home to Sweden…

A very nice day to fly back home to Sweden…

Written on July 10, 2019 by Mia

Back in Sweden…

IceBear is currently offshore, about 100 nm from Lunenburg and off the coast of Nova Scotia. They had a nice passage south from St. Johns with a stop in the French Island St. Pierre. But this is the first time in a very long time that I am not onboard, sailing with Andy and the crew and finishing off the season. We made the decision a while back, we have now lived at the farm in Sweden over two years ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // “Iceberg, right ahead!”

29 Jun

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

As I write, we’re on the home stretch, steaming up the east coast of Newfoundland towards St. John’s. We’ve got a big iceberg about a mile ahead, and the crew has altered course to go and have a better look. It’s the fifth berg we’ve sighted since rounding Cape Race in the SE.

The other bonus of that low moving off to the north was that we knew the air getting pulled in from the west would be dry, and the ‘iceberg coast’ fog-free. Had we continued direct to St. John’s ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Francois, a Gale & Palm-Sized Lobster Claws

28 Jun

Foggy Francois, ICEBEAR on the beautiful new floating dock with 35’ under her keel in the deep fjord.

Foggy Francois, ICEBEAR on the beautiful new floating dock with 35’ under her keel in the deep fjord.

Francois is Atlantic Canada’s most remote out-port village, the farthest settlement from any roads, and accessible only by boat or helicopter. In its heyday, over 300 people called the village home. The location is insane – the village is divided in two by a rushing waterfall fed by a picturesque pond a few hundred feet above the houses, and situated on a rise above the water’s edge, where fishing boats and a ferry make fast to a wharf on the south side ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // NewfoundLAND HO!

27 Jun

The entrance to the majestic Hare Bay fjord on Newfoundland’s wild south coast. Our anchorage was a full five miles inland from the fjord mouth.

The entrance to the majestic Hare Bay fjord on Newfoundland’s wild south coast. Our anchorage was a full five miles inland from the fjord mouth.

ICEBEAR encountered her first whales yesterday. After the wild breaching we saw a couple of humpbacks exhibiting in the distance earlier in the day, we’d kept a sharp lookout for the rest of the morning, hoping to spot more, and closer. Around lunchtime, I casually came up to check the water temperature on the speedo gauge at the helm. I heard the whale before I saw him, heard his spout off to port over my ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Whales, Dolphins & Hurricane Eggs

27 Jun

Liz & Jeremy watching the morning’s dolphin show on ICEBEAR’s foredeck.

Liz & Jeremy watching the morning’s dolphin show on ICEBEAR’s foredeck.

Dolphins and whales to start the morning! The dawn came clear and sunny for the third day in a row, so despite the lack of wind, we certainly are enjoying the fine, dry weather. When I came up at 0800 for the watch change, several dozen white & black dolphins surrounded the boat, taking turns playing in the bow wave (albeit created by the motor), clearly visible in the dark green ocean and early morning sunshine.

I experimented with putting preventing the mainsail out to port, then sheeting her ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // 8 Years at Sea

26 Jun

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Today (June 18th) is Mia & my 8th wedding anniversary! I never know what to celebrate more – the day we met, on December 28, 2006. Or the day we got married, June 18, 2011. After that first day, the second day seemed inevitable.

One week after our wedding we flew back to the USA and prepared ARCTURUS for our first trans-Atlantic passage, leaving Annapolis harbor on July 4 (and forgetting the paper charts!), proceeding north and east to Newport first, then on up this way. We called at Lunenburg for the first time then (the last time I ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Back to the North!

12 Jun

That calm sea! Like mercury, truly unreal.

That calm sea! Like mercury, truly unreal.

0526, June 7 2019 // Sunrise over a silvery sea. The dawn came early today as we move north and east, light showing on the horizon by 0300, the sun peeking over the horizon two hours later. Overnight we’ve gone from summer to winter. The air is cold with this northerly wind, the fog from last night has lifted and a tickle of breeze has returned from the northeast. We hoisted the mainsail about half an hour ago, and when I’m done writing this, we’ll set the genoa and attempt to mosey along ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // The Boat Comes First

11 Jun

Land ho! Sailing into Town Cut in beautiful Bermuda.

Land ho! Sailing into Town Cut in beautiful Bermuda.

To bring us up to the present, the end of the last trip to Bermuda saw backing winds and beautiful sun as we made landfall on the west side of the island at sundown. Gibb’s Island light hove into view just after dark. I’d never approached the island from the west like that, but it was considerably easier than coming from the north, with no danger of the off-lying reefs. The wind cooperated and we beam-reached the last 30 miles of the passage, rounding up towards Town Cut and almost able ...

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