The name of our boat is Memento Mori, Latin for “remember death”. The idea behind it is that we should live each day likes it’s our last, a bit like carpe diem with a slightly morbid slant. It’s a fitting name for a vessel that has carried us across the ocean and presented each of us with new experiences; some expected and others a little more surprising.
I suppose I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced the most “firsts” so far. I got my first taste of a Nordic country when I transferred at Copenhagen en route top Bergen from Beijing. Within hours came my first trip to Norway, the next day my first taste of reindeer and when we set sail for Shetland that night, my first real experience of sailing. Every stop we’ve made so far has brought something new and transit between islands has allowed us to see an amazing amount of wildlife; pilot whales, humpbacks, something large enough it may have been a sperm whale, Atlantic dolphin, and different varieties of seals. My Scandinavian friends here have taught me how to fish, and then gut and bone what we catch. We’ve been drinking with Inuits, seen icebergs, and this morning I took out the dinghy with Andreas and our latest crew member Anni (a director we found in a local bar… more on that to follow) searching for fresh water. Now we’re experiencing something new for all of us: currents have carried ice into the fjord we’re anchored in and blocked our exit. So we’re here, trapped by icebergs. But as ever, spirits are high. Glenn continues to sing, Tass continues to eat, Andreas continues to plan, and I continue to take photos. Ketil has been denied the opportunity to continue sailing, but is still wearing his captain’s hat and that seems enough to keep him happy. With any luck the winds will change and take the ice out to sea again and we’ll be on our way. Things could be worse of course. We can take comfort in the fact we’re stranded, but surrounded by fantastic natural beauty. I spent my childhood in the concrete jungle of Croydon, south London – and that change of scene keeps me happy.
Anni Zeitz, our very own film director. Happy to be trapped in the ice with 5 sailors.
Keeping the ice at bay, a common past-time onboard.