Sailing to Svalbard

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Location: UK to Svalbard on Hal, a 35 ft Halberg-Rassy sailing yacht.

Leader: Frances Wensley, Members: Gareth Watkins, plus occasional crew.

Objectives: Our aim is to sail Hal across the North Sea to Norway, up the west coast of Norway to Tromso and from Tromso across the Arctic Ocean to Svalbard. We plan to sail around the West Coast of Svalbard, where we expect most of the ice to be clear in July. If time and weather permit, we aim to sail as far as 80 degrees north, 600 miles from the North Pole and the most northerly latitude travelled by an Imperial College student. Our trip will start in March and over the course of three months, we aim to sail from England to Tromso via the Lofoten Islands. In early July we will leave Tromso for a four-week expedition aboard Hal to Svalbard, returning to Tromso in time for Fran to start her job in August and Gareth to return to work. 

Dates:  3 April - 31 July 2015

Follow them on:

Route taken

Where is Hal?

12 April: Into the Arctic Circle

5 July: Our Adventures

12 July: Into the Barent's Sea

13 July: Welcome to Svalbard (capital city Longyearbyen)

14 July: North Again

15 July: Sunshine in Kongsfjorden

16 July: Ny Alesund

17 July: The Sound of Icebergs

18 July: Magdalenefjorden

18 July: Ruins galore round Virgohamna

19 July: Sallyhamna

20 July: Up, up and away

21 July: I am the walrus

21 July: Birdwatching in Bellsund
Watch Drone vs Arctic Tern

22 July: Calypsobyen

24 July: Communism prevails 

25 July: The end of the road . . . For some 

3 August: Sail south 'til the butter defrosts

6 September: Lofoten, Gin and Tonic (Don’t tell Dr F)!

Follow them on:

Frances Wensley and Gareth Watkins ©)

Hal in Svalbard 1 Hal in Svalbard 2 

Hal in Svalbard 3 Hal in Svalbard 4

Hal in Svalbard 5 Hal in Svalbard 6


Contact (forwarded through the Arctic Club):

Supported by: Gino Watkins Memorial Fund, Arctic Club Award

Hal in the North SeaFrancesHal