Barba is constantly in use on the west coast of Norway. When time and circumstances allow, she is sailed on longer sea stretches with the circumnavigation of Svalbard and the Jan Mayen expedition as highlights so far. The previous boat Memento-Mori, in ownership of Andreas B. Heide and Ketil Christensen, was sailed extensively in the North Atlantic, including numerous North Sea crossings and the expedition to Greenland in 2010.
As a result of the thousands of nautical miles covered under sail we have gathered extensive experience, allowing Barba to explore even more inaccessible destinations and anchorages in the future. The three destinations detailed below represent the most substantial ones to date, but fortunately much more of the North Atlantic remains to be explored.
The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Our plan was to sail as far north as we could, not stopping until we reached the Arctic pack ice. Loaded with adventure gear in the form of paragliders, diving gear and more; we, as in Andreas, John, Terry and Daniel set sail from Stavanger on June 20th. Ivan was picked up en-route in Trondheim and the five of us departed from Tromsø on July 16th.
Above: The red line shows the route to 81 degrees North, and the blue line the return route.
From there we kept sailing until we reached the pack ice surrounding the North-Pole at 81.15 degrees North on August 15th. We subsequently circumnavigated Spitzbergen, going through the Hinlopen strait, making it back to mainland Norway on September 2nd. On the way we had met with famed animals of the great North such as polar bears, walrus and beluga whales.
Ivan then flew back to Russia as planned while the rest of the crew sailed down the Norwegian coast, climbing the Norwegian national mountain Stetind on the way, as well as traversing the deepest cave in the Arctic- the Raggejavreraige. Upon our return to Stavanger on October 10th, we had been out for 112 days and covering a total distance of 4100 nautical miles (7600 km).
Jan Mayen 2012
Jan Mayen is located in the arctic and easily recognizable as it is the only island between Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen. It was chosen as the first expedition for Barba as it would represent a true challenge for the crew and boat. The secondary goal for the expedition was to climb the most inaccessible peak in Norway, the 2277 meters high glacier covered volcano Beerenberg.
Above: The red line shows the route to Jan Mayen, and the blue line the return route.
The primary concerns when setting sail were the same as they have been for centuries. There were no natural harbors on the island, so the boat had to be anchored off shore. This leaves the boat and crew particularly vulnerable to stormy weather. Jan Mayen is also remotely situated in the North Atlantic, with Iceland as the closest neighbor, 550 km south with no means of assistance or provisioning possible.
Little did we know when setting sail of the beauty that was waiting in the mist. As we hope to show with the blog, Jan Mayen is a truly unique place, well worth a visit for those willing to endure the sail. The total distance from Stavanger to Jan Mayen is about 810 nautical miles (1500 km), out which about 630 nautical miles (1150 km) had to be covered at open sea. With an average speed of 5 knots, the Island can be reached in 5 days from mainland Norway.
The Jan Mayen expedition was successfully executed by Andreas, Hanne, Henrik and Jon.
The sailing in the Barba spirit dates back to 2009 when Memento Mori was acquired by Andreas and Ketil (a sister ship of Barba). Memento Mori sparked the adventurers in us, revealing the potential of a sailing boat for exploring the sea.
Above: The red line shows the route to Greenland, and the blue line the return route.
In 2010 we decided that we wanted to sail to Novaja Semlja, but lack of permits made us execute plan B instead, Greenland. For a total of seven weeks Ketil and I sailed from Bergen to Greenland and back. On the Greenland leg we had the honor of having Glenn Kvernmo, Daniel O´Brien and Nikolai Frisak as crew-members. Greenland was quite simply amazing. Parts of the photo and blog material on Barbaadventures is from sailing with Memento Mori.