I emailed Brendan Minish (EI6IZ) last week as I heard he was looking for me to to a talk on APRS at the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network annual Radio Rally (Sunday the 20th of November). So I replied to him saying that I it should be no problem. In his reply he said that he was in Tromso, Norway, waiting to join Northabout. A quick google gave me that link.

This vaguely jogged my memory, then I remembered seeing a documentary about The North West Passage, and it turns out its the same boat. This time they are attempting the North East Passage. They are making a documentary of this trip as well.

Their last reported position is available here. And its you can check their progress reports here.

Looking out at the sunshine outside, I think I would prefer to be on a boat.

PROGRESS REPORT No. 15 (from the site)

Sunday Morning. Sept 11th. On anchor in Hamnbukta, south side of Soroya.

Last Friday the wind went easterly, giving us grand sailing along the cliff coast of Finnmark and North Cape. Twould remind you of the north side of Achill.

Going south into the fiords, we spoke to Norwegian ‘control’, all very comfortable.

Then-our electronic chart system crashed.

Islands and fiords all round, our paper chart was on a minuscule scale, intended for passage planning only. Brass dividers, wooden parallel rules, sharpened pencils, the paraphernalia of traditional navigation were brought into play, but on this chart of little detail covering all of Norway. Two hours later, good man Gary, he had our backup electronic chart system working. We would have managed on the paper system, but anxiously.

The lights of Hammerfest called enticingly around midnight — we resisted and kept going. The forecast was poor and we wanted to make ground.

By 06:00 on Saturday, seas were crashing over our bow, as now south of Soroya Island, we were into open sea. A ferry passed us, we were down to two knots, with 40 miles of open waters before us before we would be into confined waters. A sheltered bay lay 4 miles away. We made for it.

Our anchor chain rasped on the seabed. The anchor must not be biting! It was Jarlath who discerned that the anchor was holding and that the chain was merely dragging across the stony bottom as gusts swung us this way and that.

Here we lie, while the wind whistles in the rigging. A stream plunges down to the shore 100 metres away. The hills rise around, the tops dusted with fresh snow. The outside thermometer shows 4 degrees.

In our cabin the Dikenson stove burns, it’s warm and snug. Hammerfest Radio was surprised that, in this location, we could reach them. We wait for better conditions, reading and chess-boarding.