A video of the indefatigable crew of Barba climbing the most inaccessible mountain in Norway. Dedicated to those who declined to come along to Jan Mayen
Little time had been spent in the water since arriving at the island. We had one failed attempt to swim with a humpback that kept out swimming us (whales are good swimmers), and one occasion we had to swim a rope ashore to ensure a safe landing.
The final day of the final hour before sailing south had arrived. It was time to get the dry suit on, and get into the water. Not the most spectacular dive I have done, but it still satisfied my curiosity of what it would look like under water in this arctic oasis. The water was as warm as it gets in the region, just above 3 degrees Celsius.
A previousy unpublished precious moment from Greenland in 2010. Glenn and Andreas beautifully demonstrates the slipperiness of an iceberg.
Jan Mayen has been important for predicting the weather in Europe ever since the first meteorological station was established in 1921. World War II was no exception. Norwegian troops were stationed on the Island to maintain the critical forecasts, and was the only part of Norway not occupied by Germany.
My initial dream was to fly down from the Beerenberg. As the Barba spirit is not about being foolish, I had to abandon the plan. Better to walk up and down on the mountain, then to end the flight in a glacier crevasse, or in the not so warm arctic water. (Of course I greatly regretted this decision standing at the summit 2277 meters above the sea feeling like the creator himself)
Sailing to Jan Mayen was expected to be the hardest leg on the trip. The prevailing winds are from the North, and with a tight time schedule we had the less exciting but still fabulous ”Faro Islands” as an alternative destination. To improve our chances of success, we fueled up with an additional 300 liters of diesel, in addition to the 130 liters in the fuel tank onboard, totaling 430 liters.
Barba steamed through the calm waters of early in the morning Sunday, after what felt like a short 36 hours crossing from Shetland.
It was a proud crew and captain that set foot on Norwegian mainland. In three weeks we sailed 2000 nautical miles (3700 km) reaching an island in the arctics visited by an average of five sailboats a year. In addition we climbed Norway´s most unaccessible mountain, the 2277 meters high Beerenberg. Only a handful of people have the chance of doing the same every year.
All this was done without any harm done to crew, boat or nature.
Adventure awaits for those who dares to seek it. Barba will sail again soon. In the weeks and months that comes we will update the blog with pictures and videos from the mythical Island “Jan Mayen”.
The sail from the arctic Paradise Island, Jan Mayen, went quite well. We said farewell with diving and fishing a cod for dinner, before heading south. It started with strong winds, up to 40 knots, and ended in calm and comfortable sailing towards our destination. After four and half days we reached Shetland.
Here we have started to re-adapt to civilisation, visiting our favourite Indian restaurant, as well a strolling around in the beautiful Lerwick.
Now we head out to sea again, with home port Stavanger as our next destination. We expect to walk ashore Sunday at around lunch times.
First of all, sorry for failing to update the blog. The reason is quite simply that we have been extremely busy enjoying ourselves. In addition limited internet access makes it difficult to upload pictures and text. Consequently, we will have to publish material once we return to civilization about a week from now. Our stay at Jan Mayen has been full of highlights, including:
The last 24 hours we have been eagerly looking for Jan Mayen through the mist, equipped with camera lenses and binoculars. As the hours passed, and no island appeared we were beginning to wonder if our free of charge mapping software was playing us a trick. According to the still favorite book onboard ”Jan Mayen”, the island could be seen from as much as a 100 nautical miles on a clear day.
When we had almost given up hope, Hanne could finally see signs of the world´s most northern volcano 7 nautical miles from land. It was kind of strange to finally see land after sailing north for almost five days, seeing noting but open ocean. After about half an hour, the clouds finally lifted from the impressive Mount Bereenberg, rising 2277 meters straight up from the sea.
We are now at anchor in ”Baatvika” making pizza and recovering after what we must admit was a better then expected ocean passage. In a few hours we will try to walk ashore on the island with the help of the inflatable dinghy (“oppblaasbare Barba”). As we cannot risk leaving Barba alone at anchor for too long, we have to spend the night onboard.
Best regards from four ecstatic sailors!