November/December 09

28 December 2009 Preparations for winter 2010 in full speed!

After the Lofotentrips, Noorderlicht was moored in Tromso for several weeks.
The 11th of December all the stores for the winter came aboard.
Also the crew arrived during these days, to prepare the ship for the crossing Tromso-Longyearbyen.
The harbour of Tromso was left the 13th of December.

News from the crossing written by Ted:

The weather was good, after two days of rain, it was dry when we left Tromso. The wind came from the southeast, about 4 Bft. We, a crew of 7 experienced sailors, hoist all the sails and went of with a speed of about 9 to 10 knots. The sea was remarkable flat and smooth. The best sailing you can have. A few days later the wind dropped and we had to use the engine for half a day. After 4 days sailing we were already in the entrance of the Isfjorden. Almost a record, but still we were very pleased with this fast and easy crossing. At the entrance of Isfjorden it began to rain and later moored on the quay in Longyearbyen it changed into snow, and kept on snowing for 3 days. So the town changed into the white as it should be in this time of the year. Now just after X-mas it is rather cold too, -20 degrees Celsius, and if the weather stays calm, we soon go for the Tempelfjord.

Maarten Hilbrandie
November 10th until November 17th
The horizon is truly the final frontier, simply because one can never reach it. But on the other hand: that just might be it's main attraction.
The closest you can get, is, probably, sailing the arctic waters. Here, in between the Lofoten Islands, well above the polar circle, the notion of being nowhere is soothed by the sheer beauty of the surroundings. Icy blue waters under a chilling breeze, with razor sharp mountain peaks as icing on the cake, looming under an unusually bright sky.
The schooner Noorderlicht is certainly a most pleasant, and authentic, means of transport here. Gently gliding through the fjords, hoisting the sails while you can already smell the upcoming, excellent meals is holiday at it's best. Sure, we had a bit of bad luck with slow winds. And orcas remain elusive little creatures, with their meager 30 ft and weighing in just 20,000 pounds.
But harbour porpoises, white-tailed eagles, fish otters, and of course lots of cod make for excellent wild-life viewing.
The Lofoten seem to have attracted lots of artists the last decades. The enchanting light functions as a muse for artists. It's a true heaven for photographers, with the mysterious Northern Light as a special encore. The artistic mood takes over every guest of the schooner 'Noorderlicht'; we all surpass our limits in photography, either in quality or quantity. We do not just overflow with creativity, we also broaden our knowledge of (wild) life in the Lofoten, thanks to 'Jan with the plan' who organises evening lectures.
Grazie, danke schon, thank you and geweldig bedankt for this marvellous trip!
Verzonden vanaf mijn draadloze BlackBerry®-toestel


At the moment we are already doing our second trip in the Lofoten.
Our last trip in Spitsbergen was a two-week trip with artists, from all over the world. The artists were doing a lot of projects and I supposed it was successful. For the crew it was rather different of our normal trips.
After a fast trip from Longyearbyen to Tromso with a strong westerly breeze, we were staying for two weeks in the shipyard in Harstad. There we installed two new generators and replaced a lot of parts of our main engine.
Now we are sailing in the Lofoten and we are pampered by beautiful weather.