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We leave Snow Bear in Bodø

picture of snow bear at a mooring in bodo harbour Norway

On August 23rd, we returned to Bodø and are preparing to entrust Snow Bear to NordNorsk Marine for maintenance, including a prop shaft seal replacement. Sarah heads to Copenhagen for work and family, while Steve visits the UK to manage Brexit travel restrictions. Exciting future plans for Snow Bear to be revealed later.

Last view of Svalbard when sailing to Norway

Recharging in Harstad

After a four-and-a-half-day sail from Svalbard to Harstad, the journey included both motoring and sailing, with sightings of dolphins and a swordfish. Experiencing nightfall was a novelty after constant daylight. A tense moment occurred when overhearing a mysterious military exchange between Russian and US warships. Celebration followed a safe arrival in Harstad, where the crew adjusted to Sarah’s impatience with fluctuating ETAs and Steve dealt with post-Brexit check-ins. The subsequent days were spent relaxing, drinking Cuban coffee, enjoying haircuts, a dinner with a friend, and replenishing supplies without the need for safety gear on Svalbard. Sarah finished her book, deeming it very good.

Cookies before they were baked

Halfway to Norway

On their 560NM journey to Norway, the crew experienced good sailing until their speed dropped to 3.5 knots. Challenging swells resulted in discomfort aboard, with Steve occupying the only comfortable spot. Amid burnt cookies and book-reading challenges, they’ve had dolphin encounters but feel the isolation keenly, especially over deep waters. They’re now acclimating to life at sea.

Steve sleeping in the cockpit

We are Heading South to Norway

On 11th August 2023, our group’s boats split, with two of us venturing south, anticipating fair weather. We’re ready for our longest passage of the year, altering our route due to military-imposed no-go zones. We’re bracing for days of motoring, upwind sailing, and the comfort of fresh bread. Steve jokingly challenged Sarah to finish her book, facing a sleepy co-sailor and extra work. Connection resumes in 3-4 days.

Sailing at Mariannesund in Svalbard

We will take another night at Mariasundet before leaving Svalbard

On 10th August 2023, after leaving Barentsburg, we sailed to Mariasundet under sunny skies and mild conditions, opting for this location over windier southern regions. Despite forecasts for light wind, overnight gusts surprisingly reached over 30 knots, causing frequent anchor checks. Today, we’re holding steady in strong winds while Sarah serenades Steve with musicals in two languages, as we reminisce about sunsets.