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Recharging in Harstad

Last view of Svalbard when sailing to Norway

18th August 2023

A few days ago we arrived at Harstad after having sailed for four and a half days from our last anchorage in Svalbard, this ended up being almost 50/50 motoring and sailing.
After the Humpback encounter we didn’t see much wildlife while crossing, but we were followed by dolphins a few times and was lucky to see a swordfish jumping around in the distance when we were just over half way across.

While reading the book she had to finish on the crossing, Sarah suddenly noticed that it was night and she needed to put on the lights. It has been so long since we had night time, that it was quite special to see darkness again.

While doing nothing but moving towards Norway, we suddenly hear the VHF saying “Russian warship, Russian warship, this is US warship” which is not the most relaxing VHF call you can hear, while sailing in a very political ocean. After the Russian warship responded they started exchanging a lot of weird codes, so the rest of us listening in on the radio couldn’t understand what was going on. 

Perhaps that has something to do with our wierd tracking, it looks like we were working hard tacking back and forth but we were actually sailing in a direct line. 

Fortunately we made it to Harstad late Tuesday evening and could celebrate with a dark and stormy before hitting the hay. Steve learned that showing ETA on a long passage does not work well for Sarah’s mood and took it off at some point. On a car it is somewhat easy for the technology to estimate the speed and calculate a time of arrival, but on a boat with a sail the speed constantly change. After waking up from her nap a few times and the ETA constantly stayed at 3 days and 20 hours, we had to take the function away, to keep Sarah from exploding in impatience.

Steve was his usually grumpy post Brexit self when he had to check back into Europe at the Police Station while Sarah being free to come and go just sat back and relaxed.

Picture of the Sarah sitting at the police station

The last few days have been all about relaxing and drinking good coffee at a Cuban coffee shop in Harstad and we both got a much needed hair cut… 

Picture of fly sculpture on the wall

We also went out for a lovely dinner with Yuma and stocked up on food, while enjoying being able to walk without a gun and all the rest of the safety gear we took ashore with us on Svalbard.

Picture of the safety gear from Svalbard

Oh yes, Sarah did finish the book and it was very good!

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