Excitements are rising and rising. A mixture of being excited and looking forward to Jan Mayen, but I am also almost feeling a bit nervous about it, something I haven’t known before venturing on arctic trips for years. But this time, it’s different. It will be demanding, a tough trip, an expedition if you want. No easy walks, but long, tough hikes. No upper limit to the shit weather scale. And 2 days riding the waves before we even get there. But that’s all part of the fun. The fascination that is dragging us to Jan Mayen does not come for free.
I planned an intense trip to Jan Mayen already in 2012, but one of the two ships involved in the logistics then had problems some months before, and that killed the whole plan. Maybe the plan was just too complicated, involving two ships, getting there with one, leaving with the next one, rather than having one small sailing yacht that is really dedicated to our voyage during that time and nothing else. So it wasn’t to happen in 2012. But it is maybe just perfect as it is, because Jan Mayen was discovered exactly 400 years ago. Probably. Nobody knows exactly. But we know that the first documented visit was on 28th June 1614 by the English whaling Captain John Clarke. The 28th June 1614. To the day exactly 400 years before I packed my stuff to travel in Clarke’s wake! How amazing is that! Is that coincidence? I guess it was meant to happen like that. Sometimes things happen for reasons that we don’t quite understand. Let’s assume it is all a good sign!
Of course, the last days were hectic. How else could it have been. Spent too much time running around, spending money on things that I thought I would need or things I know I will need but can’t find or whatever.
While the weather on Jan Mayen is almost suspiciously well – 11 degrees, almost no wind, even largely sunny – it is all almost suspiciously easy here. Neither a traffic jam causing catastrophic delays, nor does the car break down. I am suspicious. And the cheap Icelandic airline does not even complain about my overweight. Talking about my luggage, of course! I have done my bit to make sure my own weight is in reasonably good shape, ready for Beerenberg, hopefully. Running, hiking with heavy rucksack, bicycling, some extra training. In the end, getting to the top of Beerenberg or not is not life important to me, it will be exciting wherever we get on Jan Mayen. But if we have a chance, if the weather Gods are friendly and everything works well, then it would be too annoying if my legs don’t want to carry me up.
And while I am hanging out another 2 hours at the domestic airport, I have the unexpected opportunity to watch football. Mexico against the Netherlands. I have already met Gudo, a fellow traveller from the Netherlands. Of course he is watching closely. And the Dutch team has just got the ball into the net … hope that isn’t going over his mood … but it isn’t. Nobody really keen on football would travel somewhere as remote as Jan Mayen these days anyway.
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And, by the way: the fact that we return to Iceland one day before the final is coincidence. Really. I realized it just a few days ago.
Did anyone really read this far, or was it already too much? Apart from sitting in a plane for some hours, nothing has really happened so far. Time to finish for the moment. I’d better read a bit in the Jan Mayen book, polish my history knowledge a bit. Yes, I am starting to read my own books. Maybe weird, but … not bad … J and my last visit to Jan Mayen was already several years ago. Admittedly.