Old Norwegian Heroes. - Tor

I have always been interested in sea-expeditions and polar-expeditions, especially from the old days. Some of my heroes are the Norwegian explorers - Nansen, Johansen, Amundsen and Heyerdahl. The first people to ever cross the Atlantic ocean in a rowing boat was actually Norwegians too. Their name was Samuelsen and Harbo, and they completed the row in 1896, in an 18 foot open wooden boat!

Another field that fascinates me, are the old hunting expeditions to the polar region. There are so many cool survival stories from that time! Here is one of them:

In 1853 captain Johan Kulstad and a crew of 6 lost their ship around the sothern part of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. They got into their lifeboat and tried to reach land, but the wind kept pushing them further south. When they realized that they could not reach Svalbard, they decided to try to row back to Norway. They barely had any food (only some iced bear-meat) and just a little water on board. On their way to Norway, they rowed 3 men at a time. They also made a sail from some clothes between two oars, but most of the time they rowed. After 7 days they all gave up, and they just started drifting. Luckily, they were saved later that same day by a Danish ship just north of Sørøya in Finnmark, and the whole crew survived.

Captain Kulstad and his crew could have been the first to row from Svalbard to the Norwegian mainland, but they probably would not have cared about that milestone as they almost died from thirst and starvation . Since then, as far as I know, no one has ever rowed the whole way from the Norwegian mainland and to Svalbard, (or the other way.)

So, when Fiann and Alex asked me to join this expedition, I immediately wanted to be a part of it.  

We have kept our ambition away from the public eye until we were certain of our position. 

Fiann and the rest of the guys have put in a lot of planning and effort before I was introduced to this project. I will try paying it back by beeing a stable and good oarsman onboard the boat :)

 

I am so looking forward to this expedition !

 

 

 

Alex Gregory