All tagged Norway

Sunday August 11, Arendal Norway

An interesting couple of days’ journeys since my last post. On Thursday we left our anchorage right after breakfast, raised sails and headed for Gothenburg, an old university town and the second largest city in Sweden. Winds were not helpful, Force 2, so not really moving the boat with any speed, so on with the engine expecting our motor-sail to cover the 70-odd nautical miles by late evening. As the day drew in with our boat speed hovering between 4 and 5 knots it was clear that it would be very late evening or early morning before we arrived, so picked a very nice anchorage about 3 hour’s sail from Gothenburg and tied up for the night….

Copenhagen 1

The last time I wrote I was in the Azores having sailed from Bermuda, and now here I am in Copenhagen, continuing what has clearly become a very bad habit. But before I begin....it has been a wonderful summer, at least for some of us. It began in late May with the start of the Cricket World Cup, a quadrennial event, this year hosted in the UK….

Spitsbergen and at sea 12/08/14

For the first time since we left Longyearbyen, awoke to heavy fog and the ship moving very slowly as it threaded its way among ice floes. We had been scheduled to stay aboard this morning while the ship reached the southern edge of the Arctic pack ice, which is starting push down at the end of summer. We were to have worked our way to the most northerly point in the voyage, slightly north of 80 degrees, while we tried to enter the strait between Spitsbergen and the large island to its east. The expedition staff during this time had gone out in a couple of zodiacs to scout for sightings of polar bear or anything else that they could find that would be interesting for us to see. The belief was that this was highly unlikely since the fog had formed a cloud cover about 10 metres above sea level and we sailed in a world in which visibility was limited to a clear circle at sea level but was solid fog as soon as you climbed to the higher decks in the ship....

Spitsbergen and at sea 11/08/14

Le Boreal sailed all night and when we awoke this morning we were greeted by grey skies and a sullen sea. During breakfast the ship anchored and at 10 we dressed very warmly and loaded the zodiacs for an hour and a half trip to a long section of very high cliff faces rising out of the sea and the nesting grounds for thousands and thousands of guillemots, a chicken-sized black and white bird. As we approached the cliffs the air was filled with large numbers of birds swooping from the cliffs and filling the air around us as they dove into the sea to fish,  taking their catch back to their chicks poised on ledges. The smell was overpowering even in the windy open ocean and we were warned not to luck up, particularly with open mouths....

Spitsbergen and at sea 10/08/14

Have been heading steadily north since we left yesterday's glacier excursion, sailing up the west coast of Spitsbergen and heading for some fjords at the top of the island at about 79,50N. Should be above 80N latitude by tomorrow or only about 600 miles from the North Pole.
After breakfast dressed warmly and loaded our zodiacs, temp about 3C and a chilly wind blowing. Drove through Liefdefjorden, a very large bay filled with ice floes and surrounded by ice covered mountains and large glaciers emptying into the sea which are calving icebergs into the bay. Hope to see one of the icebergs break off and land in the sea but don't want to be too close, water not conducive to leisurely swimming....

Ny Alesund and at sea 09/08/14

Breakfast in the buffet restaurant, lots of smoked salmon on offer so smoked salmon, plain yogurt and fresh fruit will be how I start my days on this trip; can’t imagine anything better. As long as there is smoked salmon on offer I will never starve and in fact I will be able to get it at all three meals so intend to put the theory to the test.

Ship docked this morning in Ny Alesund, the most northerly settlement on Spitsbergen at 78,50 N latitude. One small, unpaved road leading from the dock which forms the main street of the town and which, much like Longyearbyen, is mainly composed of research scientists and fisher people....