Category : 2015 Svalbard

Fleeting Arctic Moments

Yesterday, I was making tuna salad for lunch in the Barba galley where we were anchored in Kinnvika on the west side of Nordaustlandet when I decided to open the window to air out the steam from the kettle, simultaneously taking a glance toward the far shore.

The great wanderer

Late at night, out of nowhere he appeared. The polar bear, or the great wanderer as the Inuit call him. The first sighting was one of many milestones on our journey, and a definitive highlight so far.

From the arctic adventure of the sailing yacht Barba -

The next leap North

It´s Sunday in Ny-Ålesund, and Barba is getting ready to sail out after one night in port here. Up until now, our Svalbard journey has been a rather comfortable one. We have visited the three main settlements on the island, namely Longyearbyen, Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund. Each place has offered the comforts we usually take for granted. Internet, stores, sauna and the opportunity to meet with interesting men and women with stories to tell from the Arctic outposts.

Walruses and the Russian experience in Barentsburg

If Longyearbyen was a little piece of the Continent in Svalbard – or more like a little piece of the world, considering all the people we met from all over there – then Barentsburg was something different entirely. A little piece of Russia, to be precise. The Russian coal mining settlement of Barentsburg is home to about 500 people. By Daniel Hug A Russian settlement and coal mining town just a five-hour sail away from Longyearbyen in neighboring Grønfjord, Barentsburg is […]

Southwest Svalbard and the push to Longyearbyen

It’s been a week since we first set foot on Svalbard, but the endless daylight and constant impressions make it seem like longer. The exhaustion of the crossing from Tromsø feels like a distant blip now, so sweet has the reward been to finally arrive in this archipelago. The crossing to Svalbard, with the gennaker being put to use while the wind and weather was still somewhat pleasant. By Daniel Hug  After nearly four days of constant motion and keeling, the […]

Barba and crew resting at anchor, in Horsund, Svalbard.

The crossing to Svalbard

It was 2AM on Friday when we finally sailed out of Tromsø. Barba sat heavy in the water, loaded with provisions, diesel and all manner of gear for 40 days up in the North. After eight hours we found ourselves facing the open ocean, with three days of transit ahead of us. We started out sailing at a decent speed of 7 knots. The next day, however, the wind left us.

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 […]