It’s like coming home

 Gijs sailed the Tecla to Iceland, with one amazing voyage, shooting drone footage of the Tecla in all sorts of places. Arriving in Reykjavik I flew in and took over the ship for the voyage to north west Iceland.

I stepped on board knowing some of the guest crew were repeat customers who had sailed with Gijs and some with Jan and some with Jannette and some with all of them.

It is something amazing to see these people come on board and in a way, see them come home, like I do when stepping board. Every single one of them looks for the changes, they see the new masts, the new floor downstairs and every single one knows how hard we have worked this past winter.

Setting off with a full group we only had a few days to sail those 250 miles North, adding extra miles while tacking or anchoring in one of the fjords. The first day we started off with only a short distance to cover, but having to sail up wind into Hvalfjord it would take us all day. What I did not expect was the increasing wind into the fjord. With every tack a knot extra came on top of the strong wind already blowing. All the way into the fjord we found the source of the wind, a big cloud on top of the Alfaskardspufa cliff! With just a forestaysail we found a beautiful quiet anchorage at Hvammsey. Too bad for us, the hots pot there was closed due to, too much heat from the natural source.

Next day we set sail again. First down wind out of the fjord, still with a force 6, gusting 7 bf. Rounding the corner at Akranes we set the jib and reefed mizzen and shot into the short little waves. The group had to re-adjust a little and get used to this new movement on board. But as the Tecla took up speed sailing straight for her goal, Arnarstapi at the bottom of the glacier Sneafellsjokull, most of them loved the exciting sail and feeling of the ship.

Next day the wind was not in our favour, first it came up strong and faster than expected, making the dinghy ride an adventure as the group came back on board after a nice hike. Then it turned against us, to disappear totally, but leaving us with the waves. I remembered this from the first time I sailed North over Breidafjordur. But unable to change anything about it, we made our way North under engine and decided to sail through the night to get to Hesteyri as fast as possible.

Arriving in the Isafjordurdjup was like arriving home. As our guests looked at Tecla when they stepped on board, I looked at the surrounding cliffs, comparing them to last year. Where the ice was, if I could see our friends in Hesteyri at the Doctors House, where the Waterfalls were compared to last year and if the snow was thicker. No flowers yet, but lots of green. Were we going to spot the same arctic fox as last year and hear his distinct call at night?

We dropped anchor all the way in the end of the fjord. Suddenly everything was quiet except for the sound of the water coming down the cliffs. We had a drink on the deck with a homemade cake by Jehanne and everybody just went quiet, enjoying each others company and the perfect surrounding, the pristine clear sky, the birds in the water, the seal coming to have a look at us and the glass of Whiskey gifted to us by one of our guests.

 

Next morning the group, under the watchful eye of Enki, went ashore and hiked to the Doctorshouse in Hesteyri. Jehanne and I got the anchor up and made our way there as well, waiting for their return. As we set off from Hesteyri we sailed beam reach straight for Isafjordur until we spotted some whales. And again, I felt like I belonged here. A place this beautiful and mesmerizing, with wildlife all around, this is what it is all about.

Isafjordur harbor had a perfect spot for us to go alongside. We had an amazing last sunray drink at Tjoruhusid before the sun went behind the ridge of the fjord and then dinner on board.

We are back, back in exploring country. Ready for more adventure!  

Jet