A fantastic trip! - Tor

It`s been a little more than a week since we arrived Longyearbyen after a fantastic row from Tromsø. According to plan, we pushed the rowing hard the whole way, and we reached Hornsund 7 days and 7 hours after our start from Tromsø. Hornsund is situated south on Spitsbergen, and Poland has a polar base there. The polish scientists gave us such a warm welcome, and they invited us in for a lovely dinner! -Slightly better than the freeze dried meals we had on board:) 

We stayed in Hornsund for one day before we started off to Longyearbyen. Hornsund is a fjord, and around Hornsund there are massive glaciers. In summertime ice blocks break off the glaciers and sometimes fill up the fjords with drifting ice. When we started off from Hornsund, the fjord was packed with drifting ice, and we had to carefully manoeuvre the boat through the ice. Two guys had to stand in the front of the boat to push away the ice with the end of the oar, while two others were rowing. The last person controlled the steering of the boat. We finally managed to get the boat out of the ice, and then we headed for Longyearbyen.

The row from Tromsø was not an easy row. We had more headwinds than tailwinds, but we never stopped to wait for better winds. The boat was constantly moving, and we kept our shifts of 1,5 hours on, 1,5 hours off, the whole way to Svalbard. Finally we achieved a high average speed on this leg, and I am really glad we pushed it hard the whole way. I must say that Fiann is a really good captain, and he also has plenty of experience from ocean rowing. In my opinion, Fianns leadership was an important factor for this legs success.

It was such a good feeling to arrive Longyearbyen. The row had been a success, and we arrived Longyearbyen ahead of our most optimistic predictions. In Longyearbyen Benn Eidissen met us, and we got to use his fantastic log cabin and his car for the whole stay. That was such a great help for us, and we are really thankful for your help!

According to plan, my row ended in Longyearbyen. Now I have to finish my PHD-thesis that I`m handing in at the end of august. It`s been so cool to watch the second leg row off from Longyearbyen to head north and than to Iceland. I am sure they will have a fantastic row, and also push it hard the whole way!:)


Tor Wigum




Alex Gregory