For those doubters (especially Dirk, but to a lesser extent Rosie) I can confirm that our little yellow transmitter is once again recording Tainui’s movement across the sea. See for yourself on http://my.yb.tl/tainui.
We left Honningsvåg 3 hours ago. Finally. Unbelievably. Now, North Cape is on the port quarter and we have a close fetch across smooth seas with 11 kts of wind. For company we have a dozen fulmars, who think foolishly that there are fish to be had here. The Barents Sea horizon is sharp as a knife and our next mark is 20 miles ahead. Maxine, eternal seeker after something better, is complaining that it is too bright. She wants clouds so she can sleep! Really, some people!
Leaving Honningsvåg was a bit sad. We got attached to the place and I worry about our little killer whale. The Professor (Odd) finished the engine at 6 and farewelled us affectionately after more than a few beers. I should have been more careful and I am now feeling a bit seedy, but there you go. It is 135 miles to Vardø, where we refuel and clear Norwegian customs. I will let the engine run for a good while, still unable to accept that those coolant problems might be behind us (like my credit bank balance).
From Vardø it is a 500 mile trip along the Kola Peninsula into the White Sea. Weather omens look good for the moment and 4 days might just do it. I think there is a fat blocking high sitting over us, keeping much vile weather well below the Arctic Circle and over mainland Europe.
Like the barometric pressure, our spirits are high.