Our Furthest North 2002

We last wrote from the west coast of Spitsbergen. From there we continued north visiting several anchorages, the most interesting being Virgohamna from where André left on his fatal attempt to reach the North Pole in a balloon. The dry Svalbard climate has preserved the remains of this expedition, and the slightly later Wellman attempt, so that it looks as if they left ten years ago, rather than a hundred.

Finnmark And Arrival In Svalbard (Spitsbergen), 2002

As I write this we are anchored in a small harbour formed by an old moraine, on the west coast of Spitsbergen, about a mile from the snout of a glacier. It is very different than Greenland in that the glaciers are much less active (smaller ice cap) and so we can get a lot closer to them. There is a bit of ice sloshing about with the tide, but generally small pieces, so not too much of a worry.

The Dark Time, 2002

The sun has returned to North Norway and we are out sailing again, although there is little sign of spring yet: The locals say that if you can walk on the crust of the snow on June 15th it will be a late spring! Yesterday was our first sail of the season, a boisterous beat into 20 to 25 knots through a wide fjord surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Beautiful, but we were glad to get in and retire below to the heater.

Lofoten And Vesterålen, 2001

Well, Morgan’s Cloud came to Tromsø, and so did winter. We tied up at our winter berth last Saturday, October 20th, and were greeted with 6″ of snow over the next several days. Needless to say, we were hoping to have at least a week’s grace to get the boat ready for winter before the snow came.

Arrival In Norway, 2001

We are finally in Norway after 14 months of trying—we initially sent off our application for temporary residence in May of 2000 and we received our permission, ten months later, in March of 2001, just as we were leaving our winter home at St. Katharine Dock, London, England.