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Daily Archives: 24. May 2018 − News & Stories

Bear Island (Bjørnøya)

Con­side­ring the wea­ther fore­cast, I had been rather opti­mi­stic regar­ding today’s visit to Bear Island, but less so when I saw how the wind and waves came from the sou­thwest, rol­ling around the sou­thern tip of the island and making the sup­po­sedly shel­te­red eas­tern side an uncom­for­ta­ble place to be. So I was rather uncer­tain if we could make it ashore today.

 Stappen, Bear Island

Which way to Bear Island, plea­se?

Sør­ham­na was cle­ar­ly not an opti­on, and a quick look into the bays fur­ther north did not give us much in terms of useful opti­ons eit­her. To get at least a bit of shel­ter, we ended up drop­ping the anchor in Røed­vi­ka clo­se to Mise­ry­fjel­let. No chan­ce to get ashore here, but any­way it was good to have Anti­gua reason­ab­ly calm for a while.

After having obser­ved the wind and wea­ther for a while, Mario, Sarah and I took a Zodiac to see if the­re was real­ly no chan­ce to get ashore any­whe­re. The wind see­med to have cal­med down at least a bit. This is our 8th visit to Bear Island with SV Anti­gua, and we can’t pos­si­bly make this the first one wit­hout a landing? Of cour­se it is up to mother natu­re in the end, but we wan­ted to give it a try at least … the key to suc­cess tur­ned out to be that Mario took the Anti­gua clo­se to the coast in a drift posi­ti­on whe­re islets and rocks took most of the power out of the swell, so we could board the Zodiacs safe­ly and go ashore on a love­ly beach which its­elf was per­fect­ly calm. Heia Bear Island! This area, on the sou­the­as­tern coast of the island, is among­st the most beau­tiful spots. A small, but good impres­si­on of the beau­ty of the natu­re on this remo­te island which is still rather rare­ly visi­ted, being off the usu­al tou­rist trails.

It was with a big smi­le that ever­y­bo­dy got back later on board. In the evening, we set cour­se for Spits­ber­gen.

Bear Island

Made it! View over Bear Island

Barents Sea

Always kee­ping a good eye on the wea­ther fore­cast, we deci­ded in Stok­mark­nes to make this our depar­tu­re point from the main­land of Nor­way and to set cour­se direct­ly for the Barents Sea and Bear Island. The­re is a lot of wind in the north Atlan­tic, and if we are too late, we will get more of it than we will like, and we will get it on the nose. So, bet­ter to be out ear­ly to avo­id that! Taking off here and now, we have a good chan­ce for very fair sai­ling winds on our way north.

 Barents Sea

Set­ting cour­se for the Barents Sea and Bear Island

So we said good­bye and fare­well to main­land Nor­way in Stok­mark­nes and a few hours later we were alre­a­dy at sea. Sails up and cour­se for Bear Island (Bjørnøya)! That was our mot­to for the next round­about 44 hours. Sun, sai­ling with 9-10 knots, tho­se were the the­mes of the day on Wed­nes­day. The same, just wit­hout sun, on Thurs­day mor­ning, but now we have got Bear Island 20 miles ahead of us and we will drop anchor in a very few hours!


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