Blog

Submitted by jono on 21 Jun 2017.

Been going a month and had my first day of really feeling a bit uninspired yesterday. Cold, grey, a bit of a slog to make progress, lots of cabins and signs of people - so none of the wilderness feel of Finnmark - but no spontaneous interactions and no Local Contacts to call by at. Plus I'd split the shaft of the paddle which as a result was slowly filling up with water. Little things like that can ruin your day. I headed to Lødingen daydreaming of pizza.

Submitted by jono on 16 Jun 2017.

Given my previous good experiences with Tushingham Watersports Distribution I chose to approach them once again for gear to use on the Windsurf Round Europe expedition. They were nicely enthusiastic and together with Starboard and Severne provided all the windsurfing kit, and a SUP paddle.

Having used the gear for nearly a month here are a few thoughts. Please note that this post is probably of (potential!) interest to windsurfers rather than being of general appeal.

Submitted by jono on 12 Jun 2017.

In the last few days two landmarks have been passed.

Submitted by jono on 01 Jun 2017.

Written this morning

Long day yesterday but now round past mainland Europe's most northerly point: Nordkinn. Nordkapp itself, the often-cited most northerly point, is on an island - so no need for me to go round that.

Submitted by jono on 30 May 2017.

I have to remind myself this from time to time. I'm always glad I do, though I can never entirely escape the nagging voice that says I should be sailing whenever I see a decent breeze.

Submitted by jono on 29 May 2017.

The sail from Kongsfjord to Berlevag was slow, but the calm days are the best for seeing wildlife. Yesterday was the turn of porpoises and this minke whale (in the video below) to make the occasional toughness of the day to day seem trivial.

The marine mammals are a treat. But the birds are more regularly visible companions and every bit as delighting. There are the eider ducks of course. I'd never seen these, and they must be one of natures most beautiful creations.

Submitted by jono on 23 May 2017.

Day 4 and first day not sailed. Reason: strong winds, heavy seas, hail, snow - take your pick!

First 'night' in Vardø was spent under the sail, until 3 o'clock when it blew away along with attached board. No damage done and second part of the night was more comfortable after rearrangements - despite intermittent horizontal hail and snow.

Submitted by jono on 19 May 2017.

A short post this. Tomorrow I head to the border with Russia to start the journey round Europe. There has been a slight delay, partly caused by the road to the start point being closed, partly by calm conditions, and partly by a desire to give Spring a few days longer to arrive.

But my excuses have now run out. The Norwegian army are sorting out the transport issue and there is a decent northerly breeze due.

So, tomorrow is the official start day. As of early afternoon expect to see the tracker making progress.

Submitted by jono on 13 May 2017.

My journey north aboard the Hurtigruten ship MS Nordlys ends tomorrow, with departure in Kirkenes. It's a shame really as I was just settling in, and the weather has been good, and the scenery spectacular.

It's been a holiday, and a full board exceedingly comfortable one at that. I'd do it again at the drop of a hat.

But that was never the deal. Now comes the hard part: windsurfing back.

Submitted by jono on 09 May 2017.

From my cabin, on the Hurtigruten ship MS Nordlys. Sailing north towards expedition start...

The final days of my old life were hectic. I barely had time to sleep in the final push to be ready. Board and rig had to be boxed and the original 45kg combined weight reduced to an airport acceptable 32kg. This required that literally every last screw be stripped from from the gear and the cardboard box trimmed to within an inch of its margins. Amazingly, it made the weight.