The alternative approach
A small bunch of sailors and freeskiers on board s/y Sylvia, sailing to Svalbard from Finland, stopping along the way for all the fun stuff. We’ll follow the Norwegian coast in 2018 and in spring 2019 sail over the Barents Sea. It’s a long way to go! Follow our progress here in the blog or on our Instagram.
No more “conquering” the highest peaks and other boring stuff. Although Svalbard and Northern Norway are remote, the most well known landmarks get visited regularly. With our own boat and plenty of time we will find things that are far more interesting to us: the unnamed mountains, the yet unskied lines, the quiet Arctic nature.
What happens when you stick a few wannabe adventurers in a small glass fiber box in the middle of unfriendly, ice-ridden Arctic ocean and even unfriendlier polar bears? We have no real experience in Arctic sailing, but in order to get the best skiing we will have to try to cross the Barents Sea as early in the spring as possible. This will be the first Finnish boat to attempt this sail&ski trip and also the first one to attempt the crossing so early in the season.
Turns out that our passions might not be all that ecological. Although sailing itself is a fairly environmentally friendly mode of transportation, many things associated with it are not. Instead of only raising awareness of the effects of climate change in Arctic it definitely is also time for self-critique. Are Arctic travel, our travelling lifestyle and our passions environmentally sustainable?
Living in a small boat provides a painfully concrete way to observe some day-to-day issues which, in a normal household, conveniently happen behind our backs, ie.:
- All the trash produced will have to be stored on-board. How much will a group of 3-5 produce in couple of weeks?
- The water tanks can take 140 liters. This also happens to be the amount that an average Finnish person consumes per day. No warm showers on board! How much effort does water rationing take?
- Though boat will be fitted with renewable energy source (solar panels), they will not be able to produce enough electricity to cover our needs. How much diesel per week will we have to burn (convert) to electricity to keep our “essential” 21st century gadgets running?