From Finnmark to Disko Bay!?
At the time of the previous newsletter, the Moondance was located in the Lyngen, an area northwest of the city of Tromso. Then the sails were hoisted to sail to the last destination of the winter season: Finnmark. On May 22, the Moondance arrived in the port of Alta, the largest city in Finnmark. The views on the trips from Alesund (central Norway) to the north were already breathtaking, but Finnmark really was the icing on the cake. What a beautiful area with many options for ski touring. We feel satisfied and are very happy with the completion of the first winter season.Still ignorant of what would await the Sailing Taxi in the following months, there was still some tension about the summer season. But more about that later in this newsletter.
First we would like to highlight a few beautiful moments in the period from April 9 (previous newsletter) to May 22 (end of winter season), then the change and opportunity that occurred on Saturday May 14. We close with a preview of the coming months.
Charter week 9, in the Lyngen, Buurman and Buurman , starts in Nord-Lenangen. A better start to the week is simply impossible. Together with Patrick and Aernout we hauled in the mooring lines and sailed out of the bay of Nord-Lenangen with a clear blue sky and 2 degrees below zero. The fact that there is little wind can not dampen the mood, everyone is in a great mood and looking forward to the coming week. We sail in the direction of the island of Arnoya to make a traverse on the south side of the island. On the way to the start of the tour, we encountered a pod of dolphins who were hunting in small groups of 3 or 4. We were able to see these beautiful animals up close. Leaving the dolphins behind we continued our way to the start of the first tour of the week. This tour had everything you expect from a tour in Norway; great views, good snow, even nicer weather, a dinghy drop off and pick up and a beautiful piece of sailing. Olivier stayed on the boat during the tour because she was anchored. The catch of 6 cod ensured that fish burgers were ready for everyone when they returned from the tour, which is of course a luxury!
Charter week 10, still in Senja, Fishing competition Team Austria vs Team Belgium, start Tromso. The newsletter is mainly about skiing, so this scene for a change. After a nice tour we sail quietly to an anchor spot for the night. At one point we sail over a shallow depth where Wien, almost out of boredom, hangs a fishing line in the water. After a few minutes, the first cod was caught. This triggered the Austrian guide Jochen, ‘I can do this too!’. What followed was the first fishing competition aboard the Moondance. And what kind. Complete with a live presenter it became a blood-curdling competition, in which team Austria unfortunately got the short end of the stick. Everyone had a great time. The caught cod turned into Dutch kibbeling within two hours, while the boat was anchored to find a sauna on the beach.
Charter week 13 – 15, real powder in Finnmark up till the end of May. We are starting to love Finnmark for the past weeks. We had the owners of that company on board during our last week. Once again made beautiful tours and traverses. The conditions were much better than expected. Despite the fact that it was the second half of May, there was still a lot of snow, so guide Michiel had plenty of options. Besides the fact that the Ladage family can ski very well, they also seem to be able to bake chips well. We wanted to see that. The gimbal burner was placed in the tub, the cast iron pan was filled with oil, the potatoes were cut into the right thickness and then you have this. Gerke also made an aftermovie of the week! Click the video to play it!
Those were some great moments during the second half of the winter season. On Saturday, May 14, at the start of our last charter week, Michiel came to us. Or we wanted to participate in a meeting with a company that had a question for us. The question was: ‘ Would you like to do a job in Greenland next summer for a period of 60 days?‘ After consultation, the necessary email contact with the client and the necessary considerations, we finally accepted the job. Our summer planning would initially take place in Lofoten, but the yields of this summer period were not commensurate with this opportunity in Greenland. We have moved the bookings that were standing to another time in consultation with the guests. When that was all arranged, the light turned green. We are going to Ilulissat in West Greenland!!
We will be sailing in Disko Bay, Ilulissat for the Red Sails project. This project is a series of photography trips organized by the company Aurora Hunters ehf. Under the leadership of several guides and top photographers, we will sail with a guide and photographers, especially at sunrise and sunset. The tours will vary in length from 1 to 5 hours. Red sails are currently being produced for the Moondance, because sailing with white sails under a project name ”Red Sails” is of course not possible. Go to this link to get a good idea of what we will be doing in Greenland.
The trip from Alta to Ilulissat is sailed with some time pressure. The total length is around 3000 nautical nautical miles and we have 20 days to complete this trip. Good to do but don’t dawdle. On Monday, June 20 at 09:30 Luuk, together with four experienced sailors, started this trip (and no paying guests due to time pressure). They will probably only make a pit stop in Iceland. Via satellite communication I am kept informed of the conditions on board and the progress of the trip. To keep interested parties informed about the trip, I will post updates on social media. The Moondance will arrive in Disko Bay, Ilulissat around July 10. After arrival, Luuk will sail with one of the crew for the first week for Red Sails. He will return to the Netherlands on July 25. From then on, the Moondance will be skippered for the first time by other skippers, without Luuk or me. She is then in the hands of skippers who are paid by the Sailing Taxi.We are talking about Aslak Ulheim, Maarten de Ruyter and his brother Tom de Ruyter. The last day we sail for Red Sails is September 10th. Then we will lead the journey home under the authority of Captain Tom de Ruyter with myself as first mate. Because we are in no hurry to sail the boat to its winter storage, the Kromhoutwerf in Amsterdam, we will sell the trip from Ilulissat to Amsterdam in 4 stages. People can therefore join this special crossing by participating in 1 or more stages.
Luuk and Olivier