Arctic Circle Windsurfing

Submitted by jono on 25 Oct 2016.

The first 1000 kilometres of the expedition will be inside the arctic circle. Settlements are few and far between. The cold wilderness will be a real challenge. I need to carry more and warmer layers, a thicker sleeping bag, and food to get me to civilisation and see out periods of bad weather. On my last expedition I had a barrel on the back of the board and a small rucksac. That worked well, but I had no spare capacity.

I will test with extra gear and supplies on the front of the board. It isn't ideal up there: wet, bouncy and exposed. But there is space and the gear I'll be carrying up front won't be fragile. I have an idea for a taut spray deck with drybags stuffed inside. I'll be trying that out. Thinking things through is all very well, but is no match for putting together a prototype and testing.

I'll also be experimenting with ways to keep warm. The body is fine: more layers. Hands and face will be the problem. Long days, low single figure temperatures, icy spray, windchill...Brrrr! Ski goggles should help keep my face warm, and I'll have found the perfect hat before I set off.

Hands are more complicated. Gloves are tiring to use and make the forearms cramp. Plus you can't operate GPS, zips, etcetera with gloves on. Open palm mittens might work as you can flip the tops off with your teeth to fiddle with things. I'll try those. Another line of enquiry are handlebar muffs for the boom.

I'll be testing out modifications over the UK winter. As a minimum I need to be confident in my ability to sail unsupported multiple consecutive days in UK winter conditions (carrying full gear and food, and sleeping rough).

For my Round Britain windsurf I was helped with the barrel carrier design and construction by a friend of mine: John Clarke (nickname Q - for his handiness inventing things, for those familiar with the Bond films). I'm counting on Q to have a few good ideas to try out.

Tagged with: Norway Preparation