Category : 2015 Svalbard

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 […]

Leaving Svalbard

It’s 4:30AM and I’ve just finished my last watch before we head offshore and slowly sail away from the main Svalbard archipelago toward Bjornoya (Bear Island), about 180 nautical miles away. We made the decision to head out after dinner and after consulting the weather and wind maps. Conditions aren’t ideal, with some fairly strong headwinds coming our way soon. But there are no storms a-brewing, either.

On the technical side

It´s nighttime in Svalbard. Since just a few days, the midnight sun is no longer with us so there´s a sort of twilight now. The temperature outside reads 2,7 degrees C, visibility is down to 50 meters in the fog and the water is littered with ice. Barba is threading her way South with Jon at the helm.

True North at N 81°09.098’

I’m writing from a quiet Barba salon, one of those rare moments when you’re all alone on the boat when you’re actually not all alone on the boat. Everyone is still knocked out cold in their cabins after getting to bed quite late again last night. It’s hardly early morning, though. Rather, approaching lunchtime in the “real world.” But the Barba crew remains on their own times and terms in this surreal place and season we´re sailing through. I cherish […]

Barba Friday

We hardly keep track of the days of the week. But Friday is an exception. It´s the the most sacred day on Barba. And to nobody´s surprise, we call it Barba Friday. It´s always associated with a nature performance as well as an extra ration of rum. There were the Friday pilot whales in Andenes back on the mainland, the walrus colony south of Ny-Ålesund and, a good week ago, about 70 or so Beluga whales that came within 30 […]