Every so often there occurs a moment when you know there is nowhere you would rather be than where you are. Last night I had such a moment. Tainui was snug in a landlocked Svalbard anchorage, surrounded by snow-clad mountains with a cold misty NW wind, small bergs circling the boat at a respectful distance and the ghostly blue glacier shining across the bay. With Ian’s splendid meal well washed down with Chilean red and the lads abed I settled into Tainui’s book-lined saloon with a late Beethoven sonata.
Warmed by the friendly flame of the diesel heater, I heard and felt the restless thunderings of glacial unease about the boat. Rich experience in a remote, safe place. What could be better?
This morning, in glassy calm and warming sun, we motored out through the narrow entrance, disturbing a big polar bear patrolling the beach. A solitary walrus dozing on a floe was quite unimpressed. The ebb tide through the race gave us 3 knots assistance out to sea and we are again on our way.