Departure day for Svalbard

It´s 3 AM, and we’re still in action. This midnight sun gives you the superpower of reduced need for sleep. I do expect a slight sleep deprivation-hangover tomorrow, but it doesn’t matter. Tomorrow we set sail for Svalbard, fingers crossed. There is a first time for everything. Getting the new gennaker sail up. By Daniel Hug/ We departed from Mefjordvær on Senja on Saturday, with a cold beer and some Tromsø nightlife in sight. The eight-hour transit had two notable highlights. The first was one Barba and I had […]

Northern Norway, distilled

Arriving in Lofoten on Barba was quite a feeling. I’d visited the archipelago several times since falling in love with this part of Norway during a camping trip a few years back.  But once we arrived in Reine, Lofoten’s poster child, I had trouble convincing some of the crew that we should hurry along to Henningsvær, my favorite spot in the archipelago (to sway the boys, I exaggerated stories of a bar there full of sporty Swedish climber girls). Jon trimming the […]

 Who´s the crew?

One look at our stories, nationalities and sailing backgrounds (or lack thereof) makes it clear – the Barba crew is a curious bunch. To be sure, we’re hardly the Volvo Ocean Racers. But the tale of how Barba’s crew came together for the 2015 Arctic Expedition to Svalbard is no less interesting, and a story of its own. You could sum it up to serendipitous and random encounters. Friends-of-friends met on vacation, social media connections…those are the kinds of things […]

Arrival Lofoten!

The hardest part of our journey so far has been sailing away from all the beautiful places we’re passing on our way up the coast. And Træna was no exception, especially with the lure of the upcoming Træna Festival which we had to miss out on by a few days. After a day and a half of hiking and diving there, off we sailed into the night.  View from the Barba bathroom, 2 am, in Reine Lofoten.  The term night […]

Trading Trondheim for wilder coastline

  Trondheim was a necessary stopover to get Barba’s sweet new sails. And it was fun to do some people-watching and put on city clothes there for a day or two. But it’s funny how restless you can start to feel on a sailboat in port. It just felt wrong at some point to be idling there, surrounded by buildings (pretty as they were and full of all sorts of urban comforts, no doubt), knowing all that was waiting up […]

Trondheim update

The crew of Barba is setting off on the next leg north which wall take us to the Lofoten Islands! Since arriving in port on Saturday in Trondheim, we have spent most of our time in the harbor cleaning and reorganizing the boat. We did find time to enjoy the nightlife of Trondheim, of course. And since partytime finishes up quite early here in Norway, we just brought the nightlife back to Barba. Actually, there is a big difference in […]

Trondheim pit-stop

In her relentless but pleasant chase North, Barba detoured inland to the city of Trondheim over the weekend. This must have come as a surprise to those friends following the position tracker as Barba usually makes for places inhabited by as few humans as possible. We really didn´t know what to expect in Trondheim, other than the fact that it´s the third largest city in Norway and a popular student town. In Barba terms, the town is a bit irrelevant. […]

Batalden – Ona

Barba continues to pursue her push toward the Arctic. We have covered about 280 nautical miles so far, about a third of the distance to Tromsø, our last port in mainland Norway before we set off for Svalbard. The weather has changed from no wind to too much wind, but mostly it has been somewhere in between. Once sailing we go non-stop, with a rather comfortable watch rhythm of two hours on followed by six hours off. Quite a lot […]

The first leg North

Climbing the 490 meter tall Batalden island. Barba at anchor in the lower left corner. Photo by Daniel Hug /  Checking in on night four of our great expedition north, and already that celebratory moment sailing out of Barba’s homeport in Stavanger (and the admittedly stressful preparations leading up to it) feels like quite some time ago. Time’s flown by, as I imagine it will continue to do. We’ve been getting used to life at sea and the jarring rhythm of […]

Departure day

Departure day At 17.30 today, we sailed aboard Barba out of Stavanger. If everything goes to plan, we will be back in port in southern Norway in about four months, on October 10. The master plan includes swimming with whales, meeting polar bears and circumnavigating Svalbard. At the moment, however, this is all on the distant horizon. For the last three days, it has been full-on preparation mode with the boat. Boxes loaded with gear have been arriving from remote […]