$6,000 // 14 Days
This is the big one, off the deep end to the literal end of the earth, the farthest north you can sail before the pack ice. Isbjorn will earn her name on this way, as we go in search of polar bears and follow in the footsteps of the Arctic explorers in the farthest reaches of Norway. Isbjorn will live up to her name, searching for polars bears along the way!
We'll start in Tromso, about as far north as you can get on the European continent. Once the crew assembles aboard Isbjorn we'll do our standard orientation and safety briefing.
Special for this trip will be weapons training in Tromso - the Norwegian government in Svalbard - the 'Sysselman' - requires that you carry a high-caliber rifle on any shore excursions to defend against polar bears. While shooting a bear is obviously the last resort (we'll also carry flare guns and air horns to scare them off), if it comes to it, the crew need to know how to fire a gun! So we'll do this ashore in Tromso.
After setting the passage plan on the paper charts, and creating a whole host of contingencies, we'll set out for Svalbard in the wake of Amundsen and the Norwegian polar explorers. If the weather allows, we'll stop in to Bjornoya, about halfway to Longyearbyen. Our first stop in Svalbard is the main settlement at Longyearbyen on the big island of Spitsbergen, which is actually a requirement. If time and weather allows, once we've completed formalities, we'll head back out in search of secluded anchorages, glaciers and polar bears!
After serving a year in the army as an Arctic Jaeger on the Norwegian-Russian border, he started film studies in Bergen. While studying film production, August renovated an old Baltic 37, and then proceeded to circumnavigate the Atlantic with her after he got his degree. He then spent several years working in the film industry focusing on documentaries, as his father and grandfather before him.
Liz started with 59º North as an intern way back in the early days in 2015. Still in college, she came to meet us at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and made such a good impression that we invented a position for her. Back then, she worked in all aspected of the fledgling business with Mia & Andy - behind the scenes online, on the boat, sailing 2,000+ miles as 2nd Mate, at boat shows, giving seminars and more.
Since then, Liz has worked in the sailing industry on boats big and small, including the famous J/Class SVEA, the iconic Frers-designed ketch REBECCA, the classic TICONDEROGA and race boats including a former Volvo 60. Liz is still working part-time as a rigger in Newport, RI at Gorilla Rigging, and will join ISBJORN as full-time mate starting in May 2019! She’ll join August Sandberg to round out the crew for 2020.
Lee and Andy have been friends since 2012 when Lee first started doing deliveries and long before the business started. Since then, Lee has helped out in all aspects of 59º North, but most recently has been dubbed ‘ship’s engineer’ for his work on the big boat ICEBEAR in the Caribbean. Lee sailed on ISBJORN with us in the 2019 Caribbean 600 race, and with his wife Rachel, owns a Tayana 37 called SATORI, on which they sailed to the Panama Canal and back.
Lee is also the produced for the On the Wind podcast, and being that he’s now a private pilot, we’ve declared him ‘ship’s pilot.’ For when the budget gets big enough that we can afford that ;)
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.
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.
Emma grew up sailing with her family on Long Island Sound and living on their boat on the Hudson River. She learned to sail at Croton Sailing School and has been teaching there on the Hudson for the past eight years. She has cruised the Caribbean from the BVIs to Haiti and spent a semester abroad sailing on the Robert C. Seamans with SEA off the coast of New Zealand. After graduating from Kenyon College in 2019, Emma got aboard ISBJORN as a 2nd mate on a trip from Newport to Annapolis. This coming season she will be sailing as a relief mate for 59 North. When she isn't with 59 North she will be sailing with her dad on his Jonmeri 40, Karjala, and working for SEA, an organization that leads ocean education voyages on their tall ships.
Click here to read more about how to register and join us offshore!