John & Amanda Neal have run sail-training expeditions on their Hallberg-Rassy 46 Mahina Tiare for over 20 years. They’ve sailed 220,000 miles on the boat, taking her quite literally to the ends of the earth. We chatted in-person at the Hallberg-Rassy boatyard in Sweden about their recent summer in the Arctic.
In case you missed it, in last week’s newsletter Mia and I officially published our 2018 offshore passage calendar. Isbjorn is headed north! That’s right, we’re Arctic bound in summer 2018, with passages to Scotland, Norway, Spitsbergen & Iceland. Visit 59-north.com/arctic for details & to register. As a nod to our podcast fans, we’ve not ‘linked’ this page online yet - so you guys get first dibs before the big launch at the boat show. You can come visit us on Dock H at the Annapolis Sailboat Show to tour Isbjorn and talk about ocean sailing.
Previous episodes with John & Amanda Neal:
Topics covered in the podcast including links
- Andy met up with John & Amanda during the Hallberg-Rassy Oppna Varv Boat Show on the island of Orust, the west coast of Sweden.
- What draw you guys to that part of the world? Amanda: The freedom for me, that you can just go on your boat wherever you want, there is some paperwork of course but after that you are free to explore. John: We are just most attracted to the bizarre out of the way. People say you can go to Jan Mayen, well lets see if we can do it!
- The third trip They have done a round trip voyage between New Zealand and Svalbard.
- A group of island just below 80 degrees north, the closest inhabitated islands close ot the north pole.
- Jan Mayen , an island south of Svalbard
- Longyearbyen, the main town on Svalbard, named after John Munro Longyear, whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906
- UNIS – The University Center in Svalbard
- “You can't avoid the history in Svalbard”
- The site of S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 (S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897)
- Fram museum in Oslo
- Research and exploration exhibitions from Sweden, Norway and UK to Svalbard
- The town of Stromness on the Orkney Islands was the departure points for most of the Canadian Arctic exploration,
- Captain Bartlett who accompanied Commander Robert Peary on his attempts to reach the North Pole
- Irish monks who traveled between Shetland, Scotland, Faroe, Iceland, Greeanland and Canada long before the Vikings.
- Brendon’s voyage
- Mahinas trip to Antartica via Tahiti top of Patagonia, Cape Horn and then south.
- “We don't go anywhere without students”
- Queen Birthday storm, in the southern Ocean leaving New Zealand on their first trip together. “6 boats were lost around us, 3 people died”
- The permit process to visit Svalbard takes 6-12 month ahead of time
- Noonsite.com has links to Norwegian government office with all application forms
- Need a certificate from you local police station that you are of good character in order to be able to rent a gun in Norway.
- You also need search and rescue insurance, very specific and very expensive.
- Have to provide a very specific itinerary of dates and places you intend to visit
- First time they visited Iceland
- Reykjavik – very shy and hard to get to know. But super generous and fantastic people! Very few cruising boats in Iceland.
- Brokey Yacht Club in Reykjavik with a dock open to the public. http://brokey.is/?page_id=3207
Sailing places talked about in the podcast
- Orkney, one of the British Isles
- Shetland "Where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean"
- Jan Mayen
- Svalbard, towns like Longyerbyen and the many anchorages Mahina visited
- Coocos Island
- Clipperton Island
- Iceland and Reykjavik
Books by John & Amanda Neal
- Offshore Cruising Companion, by John & Amanda
- The Essential Galley Companion, by Amanda
- Storm Survival Tactics, by John & Amanda
- The Expedition Companion, by John & Amanda
- Log of the Mahina: A Tale of the South Pacific, by John
Books can be purchased via their website mahina.com/books
Read more about John & Amanda Neal, their exhibitions, passage logs, schedule and much more on their website, mahina.com