Spring is almost here but although the weather outside is getting warmer our minds have already turned to the next ice filled adventure. Adventure 2016 will commence in Tromso (Norway) where we will sail west aiming for Greenland and the fijord of Scoresbysund that is only clear of ice, and therefore open to boats, for a few weeks a year.
Why are we going? Well, as always our main reason for going is just because it’s there, we want to see whatever there is to see and experience whatever there is to experience. We hope to see ice and mountains, beautiful summer plants and flowers, whales, birds, foxes and possibly walrus and polar bears too. We aim to walk on shore, ever wary of the bears, and, weather permitting, explore some of the glaciers that calve into the sound. This time we also hope to do some science both en-route and also in Scorsebysund – more on that later! The second half of our trip takes us south tracing the path of Vikings and calling at the north coast of Iceland, the Faroes and Shetland on our way to the Netherlands.
We’ve set up another blog… this should keep you up to date with our planning and preparations as well as with the trip itself… you can read about Adventure 2016 at http://arcticsailing2016.co.uk/
Hey all. Our friends on Anne-Margaretha have some spaces on their Antarctic and South Georgia trips this winter (summer down there!) You can have a look at http://annemargaretha.nl/en/sailing-spitsbergen-antarctica-2014-2015/antarctica-2014-2015 and see if you’re interested. She’s a brilliant long distance cruising boat, luxury compared to Elinca, with an amazing skipper who has been to Antarctica 6 times before.
Here’s the booking form if you’re interested, or contact Greet through the website
Thanks to Zoe Aukland for completing the Leg 5 video! Just think, this time last year we were putting the finishing touches to Elinca and readying her to set sail….
If anyone’s wondering what they’re going to read now that Elinca’s blog has finished then here are two blogs from friends that we made along the way that may fill the gap left by the end of Adventure2013.
Niall Iain is currently in New York preparing his boat to row across the Atlantic to Stornoway: https://www.facebook.com/NY2SY
Sarah Outen is currently sea kayaking along the Aleutian Islands to complete her crossing of the Pacific: http://www.sarahouten.com/blog/
Both Sarah and Niall Iain would love to have Elinca’s supporters following their adventures.
I found it impossible to write anything meaningful on leaving Elinca in Stornoway. Emotion was running high and there was a lot to do in a short time. We arrived at 4 am Saturday morning after a cracking last sail across from Skye, drank some champagne and then went to bed so that we could get up at 10am and start the big clean. The Stornoway homeless shelter did well out of us and the rest went into the bin leaving Elinca possibly cleaner than when we picked her up last September. More family met us in Stornoway. Jane (my mum) had sailed up from Holyhead as part of the delivery crew, Raffe’s mum Pippa met us on the dock side and Cliggys mum and brother arrived on the 9pm ferry. The return delivery, affectionately termed leg 13, then extended into Sunday and Monday. We seemed reluctant to leave each other so all stayed in an 8 bed hostel dormitory on the Saturday night. On Sunday the group split in two with James, Jon, Alice and Andy heading across to Ullapool on the one Ferry and Clare, Raffe, Jane, Pippa and Lynda taking the scenic route down to Harris and across to Skye.
On the way down we got a bit reflective and talked about what we were going to miss most, what we had learned and what we found the hardest.
Unanimously the final Atlantic crossing seemed to be the hardest bit for the long timers, a long time at sea when we were all physically so tired. Nevertheless this is also the leg that we dug deepest and into ourselves and used the ‘living with people’ skills that we had built up over previous legs. Some crew members told me that they had found life easier since returning from the boat, that they had more confidence and in some cases ‘more mojo’. Others it was a turning point in careers or relationships and a new leaf was turned on their return. For me it’s too hard to think about the trip as a thing that has ended. There have been so many spin-off ideas flying around that the general feeling seems to be ‘lets have more adventures’, ‘let’s do more sailing, more walking and let’s meet up more often’. So many people have told me that they had forgotten how good it is to be around people.
I can say now, without leaping to touch the nearest piece of wood, that everything went well. Give or take the odd moment everyone got on well and better than well. No-one was seriously hurt and the boat is still in a condition now that it could set off tomorrow and do it all again. For James, Jon, Colette and I this is the best possible outcome that we could have dreamed of and all that remains now is have a rest and then to plan the next adventure.
I’m really going to miss Elinca over the next few months, not for the boat itself but for the people that were on it and the atmosphere. I’m going to try and make real life a bit more like Elinca.
p.s that’s the mushy bit over. Future posts from me will only contain amusing photos or plans for future expeditions.
All coiled down and its time for us to go. Every sail furled in a neat harbour stow. Another ship for us and for her another crew, goodbye Elinca, good luck to you.
een a long motor to windward and Elinca is now approaching Oban where we will drop off our watermaker, our spinnaker and our personal locator beacons for OYT Scotland. Despite the lack of sailing it has been flat and the cleaning has been enthusiastic. You wouldn’t recognise her as the seasoned traveller of last week. I’m not saying that she is shining but at least bits of her reflect the light. More fun than cleaning has been the eating of the left over food and the dividing up of left over lost property. The Holyhead food bank did well out of us.
We’re now only two channel crossing from the end of our journey and its worth noting that the scenery looks very like tierra del Fuego. Since we have taken off most of the kit the waterline has lifted by a full two inches and 9 months worth of goose banicles are now drying out.
Cliggys Birthday is tomorrow, we won’t post her age on the internet but she’ll be treated to an Elinca cake with eggs.
Our final official blog will be Saturday. The space will then be open for crew members to add to and we are yet to debut Cliggy Potter!