The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

A final word on the Jan Mayen trip

After 5 days at home the experience on the winter Atlantic is feeling very far away. Its funny how I'm already is starting to forget the cold and the rough seas and only remember the great group of friends, the fantastic day on the top of the volcano in the middle of nowhere (already on my "top 5 ski day ever" list), the days skiing around on the island and on Iceland, and the refreshing sail the last few days when seasickness finally gave up and the sun came out in favourable winds (well, until they got alittle to strong). 

I have now updated my previous blog from Jan Mayen (see the Jan Mayen experience) with pictures and some text. All in all I really enjoyed this weird, wild and remote island, not similar to anything I've seen before. I have also enjoyed the inspiring company of everyone who took part in this expedition and who helped keeping spirits up during harder times, thank you Fredrik (who came up with the idea in the first place), Runar and Sigge (who made everything possible), Oscar, Johan, Pelle, Martin and Maria! This trip didn't have the best odds on the paper to be a success (there where many catastrophic scenarios...) but if you go for it, it seems like things often end up your way.

If you feel like skiing icelandic fjord, Greenland or Jan Mayen I can highly recomend www.boreaadventures.com -  Just heard from Sigge and Runar that the boat was ok after the insident "hitting" iceland (well there was some fixing to do but Sigge were able to repair the damage done and bring her back to tip top), and the guy with the broken leg was on good way to recover within the next few weeks.

A short plus and minus list:
+ Runars food at base camp and Sigges good mood in all weather and situations
+ The spirits of everyone (I'm not talking about the whiskey now)
+ Jan Mayen Island who eventually smiled at us after some bad temper
+ The adventure factor at all times
+ Swimming in the "blue lagoon" after 12 days on not taking a shower... 
+ Seasickplasters who make you sleepy for 40 hours, so you dont have to deal with anything...
- I hate to feel seasick even for a short while, and 2 days is not short!
- Rain instead of powder day 3 at Jan Mayen
- Didn't catch any fish during the whole trip!

Until next time (any ideas what we should do then?)!


Jan Mayen photo hanging on the wall in the old Metro station near base camp

Monday, April 11, 2011

A dramatic end and salvation

...We managed to get the wale watching boat to tow us, Runar and Sigge at the rodder took a constant beating of water spraying over deck (we were all quite happy to sit nice and reasonably dry underneath the roof). Eventually I had a short bumby wet sleep and got woken up by Runar to assist getting the boat to the dock. The offshore wind was still in full storm strength, and as we let the towline go we managed to get the rope tangled in to the propeller so the engine died at worst possible moment, throwing the boat on the sharp pier rocks, it bounced off a few times with a crunchy expensive sound but luckily enough we eventually stranded near a boat ramp with relatively smooth bottom. At the same time the captain on the wale watching boat fell overboard and another of their crew broke a leg as our propeller stretched their towline unsuspectingly. They got their captain out of the water and eventually helped us together with a rescue team in a zodiac, and managed to get our boat off the shallow water and into berth. Puh! Very impressed by Captain Sigge who during the whole time kept his calm and took sound decisions even as his boat took a big beating. All together the trip home took 80 hours, while the trip to Jan Mayen took 52 hours. We also had some nice sailing on the way as all of us had a better time with the seasickness, I think it was only me who emptied my stomach in the start of the trip home.
Aurora on the towline in stormy waters on the way to Husavik

Captain Sigge enduring a wash machine treatment as the waves keep spraying deck.

Now story wasn't completely over for our part as everybody except me and Pelle were to fly from Reykjavik this morning. So 4 a clock in the morning we hurled ourself into a rental minibus and hit the road in worst possible conditions, snowstorm with very strong winds. However Martin (who together with Maria had the earliest flight) drove very "efficient" from A to B and they all made it to their planes! It was a real nice landscape we passed trough and Iceland calls for another visit with hiking boots and fishing rod in hand. Me and Pelle are now at a hotel in Keflavik and we just had our first shower in 10 days! If it wasn't for the wet clothes I'm still wearing I would be in heaven... Now we will do a little day trip and take a look at some volcanic activity, the storm hitting the coast and bath in the very touristy "blue lagoon" hot spring before we fly out tomorrow morning!

Me sleeping in the back of the car while cruising through the scenic landscape

It might take some time until any of us decide to sail on the northern Atlantic in the middle of the winter again, but the trip has been worth its struggles. A great trip is coming to an end! Now I'm very much looking forward to spring in Göteborg, heard its nice and warm back home.

I will update with pictures and a more complete story about the adventure on Jan Mayen soon enough!

Stuck in a storm

2011-04-10, 19:40

After 3 rough days at sea, starting with loosing our anchour while waiting out a storm in big swell in Wallruss bay Jan Mayen, we now have Iceland in sight! We are only 20 nm from the Harbour in Husavik (destination changed due to storms further to the west) the wind started blowing against us and is now reaching over 30 m/s. We took all the sails down due to the storm and started the motor, but our engine power alone is not enough to push through the wind so we are not moving forward. Its clear blue skyes and land is so close! At the moment we are waiting for a wale watching boat to assist us by towing. We are okey and feel safe on the boat, but its still a bit of a drama at the moment. Hoping to reach Husavik early morning so the people flying out monday will get their flight in time!
Aurora at anchor point in Walrus bay waiting for better weather,  big swells.

Walrus bay has spectacular surroundings, cold Atlantic meets the mountains!

Sigge and Runar taking turns at the rodder while the wind is increasing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Jan Mayen Experience

Time to go home!

Its late eveing on Jan Mayen, and we have just boarded the boat to sail back home. Tonight we are on anchour in Walruss buchta to wait out a big lowpressure our way. The forecast is southern winds 25kn and by now we all know it meens most of us will be seasick and lay in our bunks for about 50 hours before reaching Isafjourdur on Sunday afternoon...
The days on Jan Mayen have been really great. will show pictures and tell the story at later time. We made it to the top of Beerenberg, had sun and a amazing ski down with northern light at the night. We also had all kinds of weather both on the climb to the top and the following days. Snow, rain, howling winds, fog, sun. you name it. Time to get seasick...
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Jan Mayen in pictures

Basecamp by the ocean at the foot of Beerenberg, plenty of tents for everyone!

Early start 7am day 2, heading for Beerenberg 2277, overcast with no summit in sight

Lunch break, strong wind, whiteout and moist air covering everything in ice

Suddenly the clouds gives! At 1600m we rope up for the glacier (photo Martin)

Short break enjoying the fantastic view!

Me and Fredrik boosting our energy reserve with yet another chocolate bar...

Last 500 meters climb we boot with crampons, finally reaching the crater rim!

Fredrik photographing the Beerenberg crater while hoping for an eruption!

Me and Martin climbing the cinnamon bun looking summit (photo Runar)

Oscar, Pelle, Me, Martin at the summit, 7pm and almost sunset (photo Runar)

Impressive glaciers peel of the crater and don't stop until they hit the Atlantic far below

Time to go skiing! Little nervous to hit a hidden crevass but excited for the run.

2277m vertical and 15 km distance with natures own groomed run at sunset!

Me enjoying the glacier snow with another 2000 vertical to go (photo Runar)

When we reach camp the sky switched to movie mode northern light!

Runar cooking up a well deserved dinner in our food tent
Dish washing (and washing) in the snow has a "different" standard....

The next day we spend playing around camp, no big walk today! (photo Runar)

The last day we went ski touring some smaller craters on Beerenbergs shoulder, In time for our last descent my new Marker Tour12 binding broke (!) so had to ski down on one ski, very glad it wasn't the first day!(photo Oscar)

Fredrik giving Pelle a lesson in volcano geology

Black lava cliffs meet the stormy beach, soon the birds are alone again...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Arriving Jan Mayen

A short summery of the last 50 hours: seven seasick seamen on the ship of Aurora.
It started off with a great evening on the boat with sun in our faces and the beautiful Icelandic fjords behind us. Then the wind and the waves started, most of us (including the captains assistant Runar) was seasick the whole way, only Johan and the captain was unaffected. In total I've spend about 40 hours out of 50 in my bunk bed.
We arrived Jan Mayen last night, but the waves where to big to attempt a landing. Today it looks better and we are now leaving to shore dressed in survival suits. Ready set go!
Jan Mayen looks intimidating with black lava rocks and snow, but beautiful.

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Boarding Aurora in Dalvik

No wind, sunshine and a great scenery leaving Iceland
Everybody excited to be on the boat and on our way, sails set!
Ice cold winds from Greenland froze everything to ice on the boat (photo Johan)

My bunkbed view next morning, I'm seasick and its freezing cold, wet and icy
After 50 hours sail we arrive destination. Maria and Martin getting some fresh air
Pelle and me finally on Jan Mayen! Runar and the dingy in the background
Our landing site, a desolate wavy beach on Jan Mayen

Friday, April 1, 2011

Morning skitour and getting ready to leave

Woke up to a sunny iceland and went for a morning ski tour to test our gear and get some exercise before the days on the boat. Very nice mountain and better snow then expected. Pelles bidnings broke on the way up, luckey for him that we were still on Iceland. One of Fredriks skifriends in Ayakiare could arrange for a new pair of skiis so now we are go go. Boat is here, it has started raining - time to go sailing!