This passage is now fully crewed. To get on the waitlist, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Isbjorn in Scotland for our passage north through the Arctic Circle at 66º North and on to the incredible Lofoten Islands & Tromso, Norway, where the sun never sets!
It's a journey just to get to Kirkwall, in the Scottish Orkney islands, but it's worth it. The place is surrounded by Viking sites and cultural history and surrounded by stunning geography. After the crew rendezvous' in Kirkwall, we'll do a big orientation and safety briefing and lay out the passage plan on the paper charts. Our first planned stop will be in Norway's stunning Lofoten islands, firmly in the Arctic. As we sail north, the days will get longer until there are no nights - north of 66º is the fabled midnight sun.
However, if the weather dictates or if we make a fast passage we'll have the option of stopping in any number of the sheltered fjords on Norway's rugged west coast. Once to Lofoten, we'll then decide whether to go back offshore to Tromso, or if we'll take the inshore route, exploring as we go. Tromso is the last stop before the northern end of the continent.
This passage will be a challenging one, with cold water, fog, tight navigation and the potential for heavy weather as we'll be firmly in the corridor of low-pressure systems that follow the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic.
Paul Exner, aka the ‘boat whisperer,’ is an old friend and easily the most knowledgeable sailor we’ve ever sailed with. He’s got a great story too - Paul built his own Cape George Cutter from a bare hull, then sailed her solo down to the BVI, where he’s run offshore expeditions on her for years. After Hurricane Irma, Paul fixed up his damaged boat and sailed her all the way to Hawaii, where he relocated his family in the wake of the devastation in the Caribbean.
Simon grew up spending his summers on his parent's “summer cottage," a classic Vindö 50, and got his first boat when he was only 7. He has been working on boats of all sizes for the past 12 years, including passenger ferries in Stockholm, RIBs, offshore construction vessels in the North Sea and most recently as Project Manager at HOC Yachts in Stockholm & Visby. He's currently a manufacturing engineer at Candela Speed Boats.
Ben sailed with us across the North Sea in May 2018, specifically to get some time aboard for working with us in the future! He’s got his own sailing business out of Bainbridge Island (outside Seattle), running day-trip and multi-day cruises in the Pacific Northwest on his beautiful 44-foot Pearson Countess Ketch TRUE. When he’s not sailing, Ben is a professional musician with his band St. Paul de Vence.
Tom & Darlene and longtime friends of ours who have sailed thousands of miles with us on ISBJORN and other boats we’ve delivered over the years. Tom was there from Day 1, driving to Connecticut with us the first time we set eyes on ISBJORN, and indeed sailing her south to Annapolis on her first-ever passage with us. They cruise extensively on their Ericson 38 KOMPASS.
Tom & Darlene will be Simon’s mates on the San Juan to Key West passage in April 2019.
August is the Norwegian sailor and friend of ours who loaned us the rifle for the Svalbard expedition. We first met through Andy’s podcast, and later finally met in person in Longyearbyen. August went to school to learn sound design and production, and both his dad and grandfather were documentary filmmakers. He grew up on the west coast of Norway and has sailed his entire life, and over the past few years has decided to follow that passion and has started doing it professionally, mainly in the challenging and harsh Norwegian Arctic.
August will initially be sailing with Andy on ICE BEAR for the passage south from Lunenburg to Annapolis in summer 2019.
Dennis has sailed many thousands of bluewater miles and stands in for Andy when he can't (like when he got appendicitis offshore!). Dennis is also super-supportive of the whole charade, and Andy & Mia use his basement as temporary storage when they're home. Sadly, Gail died of brain cancer in 2012.
Click here to read more about how to register and join us offshore!
Click here to read in general about the best way to get to & from the boat. Specifics on each trip will be emailed to you in a series of newsletters once you register. It's ocean sailing - be flexible in your planning!
Click here to read about what you get - and what's not included - when you sign-up for this passage.