Friday July 13th Tromso Town Harbour 0800

Fri 13 Jul 2018 07:28

Friday July 13th

Tromso Town Harbour 0800

Some days I wondered how long it was until today. Sometimes I longed for it. I’m excited to go home and catch up with family and friends for sure, and sleep in a real bed, and take a shower daily not weekly, change my clothes regularly, run, bike and swim again, have time to myself, cook in a kitchen, crap in a real toilet without having to pump, pump, pump and do something other than be on 40 feet of wet fibreglass with a bunch of friends, however fond I am of them! But now it’s come and I reflect on the past 5 weeks I realise that I have been immensely privileged to have had such an opportunity to travel to the Arctic wilderness in a small boat with a group of friends. I have certainly been challenged and not always risen to that challenge, behaving badly sometimes, but other times I have relished the opportunity to stretch myself, cooking meals in heavy seas when I have felt queasy, supporting others as they have supported me, helming the boat in seas and waves such as I have not experienced before, and may not wish to experience again. But adrenaline and challenges are addictive and I suspect there will be other adventures to embark on again. I do have another ocean crossing in ten days from Alesund to Orkney, so it won’t be long before I’m back on the 4 on 4 off sail sleep eat rota, and in early September we sail the boat home from the Shetlands to Ardfern on the West coast of Scotland where she will need some TLC and a rest. As will we!

Yesterday was ordinary really. In brilliant sunshine we ate a huge breakfast on deck in Skattora, just north of Tromso and where the boat has wintered these past couple of years. It takes a while for seven people to shower and clean up the boat, but by late morning we were off for the last few miles to Tromso. Here we have a berth in the centre of the city and it’s been fun for people to go off on explorations and visit museums, restock and tidy the boat, catch up with Norwegian friends over coffee and cake, and acclimatise to the real world. We finished the day with huge pizzas at Peppe’s on the quayside and piled into bed for a whole night’s sleep. It’s a week since we had one of those. Of course I’m the first up, writing this in a sleeping boat that isn’t heeling or slamming or drifting on its anchor alarm, and it’s a good feeling. It looks grey outside so there’s no rush to move, but a delightful coffee shop over the road beckons!

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