Andy & Mia

Sysselmannen in Magdalenafjord // Delos in the Arctic, Part 4

5 Jul

On Berg5_2500px 2.jpg

1230. Most of the Delos gang (plus James) are still sleeping, despite playing the whale fish song (twice). Mia’s pouring coffee, Karin just climbed out of bed and Alex is looking groggy at the saloon table. Brady & Brian are passed out on the settees and James & Kiril are ostensibly still in the forepeak bunks. I’ve got a bad back and have been up since 0945 because I can’t stand to lay down.

Isbjörn is anchored at Virgohamna in low clouds and patchy fog. The cockpit is dry for the moment, but the forecast looks damp. There is graffiti ...

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With Delos in the Arctic // Part 3: North Spitsbergen

3 Jul

  Ice men & Isbjorn. Photo from  James Austrums , who was IN the icy water!

Ice men & Isbjorn. Photo from James Austrums, who was IN the icy water!

Anchor Watch in Magdalenafjord

It was all but 50 miles from Ny Ålesund up the coast to the NW corner of Spitsbergen, and the gang was pretty slow-moving after the midsummer/birthday party in the village the night before. Nonetheless, we wanted to keep moving. After topping up on water and scrubbing the muddy footprints off the deck, we set out around 1700 and pointed the bow north again, taking turns on the watch in the calm, grey weather, on a motorboat ride up the coast....

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With Delos in the Arctic // Part 2

1 Jul

 Brady of S/V Delos launches a Drone amongst the Arctic mountains and Isbjörn

Brady of S/V Delos launches a Drone amongst the Arctic mountains and Isbjörn


More Ice & Some Walrus

We anchored briefly at Poolepynten where the first walrus colony was said to be. It was. On the beach, a dozen or so walrus (walri? walruses?) were lounging in a group, one lone fat dude lounging just down the slope, and another 3 or 4 frolicking in the shallow water just off the beach. We landed the dinghy on the south side of the point and slowly made our way towards the group, filming all the while. Unfortunately we left with a ...

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With Delos in the Arctic // Part 1

26 Jun

 Isbjorn at Ymerbukta glacier

Isbjorn at Ymerbukta glacier

A Birthday Party & Roald Amundsen Goes Blimping

To get straight to the point, because everyone is wondering this, a few thoughts on sailing with the Delos crew: the Delos gang is exactly what we expected they’d be like after meeting and hanging a bit with Brian & Karin in Stockholm a little while back (in a very good way); filming with them has so far been an AWESOME and educational experience – it’s fun to watch other creatives work and learn from them; they Delos crew works WAY harder than you’d think; they are genuinely ...

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“Polar Bear! POLAR Bear! POLAR BEAR!”

18 Jun

  Polar bear tracks, a few days old. The bear we spotted on the hill to the left most certainly laid these tracks when seal hunting.

Polar bear tracks, a few days old. The bear we spotted on the hill to the left most certainly laid these tracks when seal hunting.

Once around Treskelodden, the seas flattened out completely and the scenery changed from steep dramatic peaks to a flatter, more open area separated from the main fjord by the long low peninsula of Treskelodden. It was perfectly protected. The aim was Selbukta – we hardened the sheets again and were able to shoot up the channel and towards the foot of another glacier where we’d anchor for the night. One tack onto starboard after rolling ...

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Isbjorn Sailing & Dancing with the Ice in Spitsbergen

18 Jun

Isbjorn dances with the icebergs in Hornsund, Spitsbergen.

The weather held as we ambled back to the dinghy and made our way back to the boat. Knowing how quickly it can change here, we hauled up the anchor and continued deeper into Hornsund, to see what we could see, while we could still see. The sun shined on every corner of the land, shadows casted by friendly cumulus lent some depth to the otherwise white, blue and black icy landscape. There was enough breeze from the north, 10-12 knots or so, that we quickly hoisted sailed and aimed the bow ...

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Isbjorn & Crew Amongst the Glaciers in Horsund, 77º North

18 Jun

Isbjorn & crew amongst the glaciers in Hornsund.

Our first night at anchor in Spitsbergen was spent right on the edge – had we had a westerly or northerly wind, it would have been untenable. But with the light easterly that blew cold air off the glacier, the anchorage was safe.

The crew spent the night on anchor watch. We stuck to the same rotation schedule we’d kept offshore. Except this time we only needed one person up in the cockpit at a time, so the 4-hour watches were split into 2-hour shifts. In reality, these anchor watches were spent ...

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Landfall in SPITSBERGEN!

17 Jun

  Anchor down at 77º North! We made it to SPITSBERGEN!

Anchor down at 77º North! We made it to SPITSBERGEN!

The passage I’d feared the most, turned into one of the best. With a good omen in Finnkroken in the group of eagle feathers Mia found on the beach, we departed in the midnight sun in the middle of the night, racing the developing low off Greenland to the north. In the end, we beat it, and had incredible wind angles, if not perfect weather (relatively speaking – it snowed a lot of the time, was overcast for much of it, but we had no real ‘storms’ and great angles, ...

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Omens & Offshore Sailing

16 Jun

  Midnight sun as we sailed close by Bjornoya en route to Svalbard.

Midnight sun as we sailed close by Bjornoya en route to Svalbard.

“Maybe it’s the eagle feathers?”

James mentioned that to me while I was congratulating myself on the incredible weather window we got on leaving Tromso. That aforementioned low, which was forecast to form off east Greenland, did precisely what the GRIBs said it would do and gave us near-perfect wind angles for the duration of the passage to Spitsbergen. 

I’ve been terrified of this trip. Genuinely scared. It’s the unknown up here, it’s cold wet and foggy, and the Arctic’s reputation as being a gnarly place is obviously ...

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To the North! Crossing 73º North Latitude

16 Jun

  0100 Departure from Mainland Norway towards SPITSBERGEN!

0100 Departure from Mainland Norway towards SPITSBERGEN!

Isbjörn JUST crossed the 200-mile mark since leaving our snug anchorage at Finnkroken, and in another three miles – by the time I finish typing – we’ll be across 73º north latitude. The weather is gorgeous outside. A low, dispersed ceiling of silver-blue clouds allows the sun to shine through now and then, blanketing the boat with warm (relatively) and dry air. Jordan and Patty have nearly fully recovered from their bout of mal-de-mer that beset them to their bunks fairly quickly once we got offshore proper and outside the protection of the ...

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