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The first orca close encounter

It was the second day of the Barba whale expedition in Hamn, Senja. The birds were flying next to a small cove in large numbers, and we could see the distinct orca dorsal fins slicing through the water. Tony and myself were approaching in the dinghy, wearing our wetsuits. Action time. The dinghy, used for quick and easy access as well as to venture into shallow waters.  Although we had seen numerous humpbacks and orcas the previous day, we had […]

In pole position

Barba defied temperatures of -20 Celsius and made it to Tromsø on January 11th, early in the morning, thus providing evidence that sailing the Norwegian coast during winter time is not such a big deal. Despite the couple of gales we experienced, the wind was blowing mostly offshore during the transit and the sea was mostly flat. The main challenge was nighttime navigation, with the days growing progressively shorter as we sailed North. We saw the sun for the last time at the island […]

Barba migrates North

Late in the evening January 2 Barba slipped into the darkness, leaving the comfort of home behind yet again, chased north by a gale. The destination is Northern Norway, with a first stop in Tromsø, where we will be joined by two fellow adventurers flying in from Kyoto Japan, and Florida US with a few additional surprises joining down the line. Planned route. Sailed from Stavanger January 2, rounded Stadt January 4 with Tomma as current location January 7. Eta Tromsø […]

A happy new year and a big thank you from the Barba crew!

It has been somewhat silent on the Barba blog lately. Following 112 days out at sea we were all rather pleased to return to normal life following a couple of weeks of acclimatization. The Barba spirit remains intact, and we have been working behind the scenes with the aftermath from our greatest expedition to date. 50 000 photos or so have been sorted, with some being sent to magazines, sponsors whereas other have been hand picked for storytelling purposes in […]

The end. Or the beginning?

Just like that, it’s over. Saturday we arrived back in Barba’s home port, Stavanger, to a troop of Andreas’ friends. His mother, various friends and a few former crew/buddies from past sailing adventures had laid out a red carpet quayside and had a magnum of Moet at the ready. It was a touching welcome back and a nice celebratory finish to the trip as Jon, Dani and I joined Andreas in greeting everyone and chatting about some of our adventures […]

Celebrating the century mark – 100 days on Barba

Yesterday marked 100 days living aboard Barba. 100 days that we’ve been co-habitating in a space about the size of a college dorm room. It’s been five of us for most of that time. And since our arrival back in Hammerfest (when Ivan left for home), four. It’s safe to say we know one another’s ways a bit by now, including whose socks and underwear those are drying next to the engine heater and who prefers what for breakfast (cinnamon […]

Raggejavreraige – the Arctic cave

A few days back while we were roaming in the Tysfjord region just south of Lofoten, the forecast predicted two days of heavy rain. Daniel, Jon and I opted for an indoor activity somewhat out of the ordinary. We were moored up in the settlement of Musken, located about five hours´ sailing time into the Hellemofjord. Barba moored in Musken, one of very few mainland communities in Norway with no road connection. By Daniel Hug.  The indoor activity in question […]

The First Leg South: Hammerfest to Tysfjord

It´s been a couple of weeks now since we arrived back on mainland Norway in Hammerfest, where we nurtured ourselves and Barba back to health following our escapades in the ice around Svalbard. Ivan flew out from Hammerfest as planned with hiking in Siberia as his next endeavor. And Terry, Jon, Daniel and I fortunately still have about a 1,000-nautical-mile sail ahead of us back to Stavanger, with the spectacular Norwegian coast and Barba at our disposal. Terry picking cloudberries as […]

Svalbard, the postscript

As Terry beautifully described it in the previous post, the joy is not always in the journey. Looking back, leaving the Norwegian mainland back on July 16th seems very distant now with all we have seen and experienced since we watched the mainland disappear on the horizon. We had already been sailing from Stavanger for a month at that point, but leaving the mainland in Tromsø marked the true beginning. This is what we had worked for after half a […]

The Joy’s Not Always in the Journey

Now that we’re peacefully moored up in port back on the mainland in Hammerfest – the promised land of shore power, floating docks, fresh fruit and veg and the almighty internet! – I’m ready to write about the whole crossing. Now that the whole getting here part is part of the past…. The crossing wasn’t a whole lot of fun, but I don’t think any of us really expected it to be. And despite some uncomfortable sailing, there were definitely […]