Le fils de Robert

  • Le fils de Robert

Very good sailor, Robert's son helped us to accomplish the second half of this navigation, from Bear Island to Tromsø, north of Norway. Really good weather and sea conditions, wind from 10 to 35 knots, waves not too huge, the two Yanmar engines in prime shape thanks to the washing up done during last stop.

Despite a couple of failures, Robert's son did his job the nicest way, allowing us to sail up to Le Manguier, boat that will host Vagabond's regular crew for one more arctic navigation up to Japan.

All the crew is now resting, and is in good shape, while young sailors are preparing themselves to go back to their regular activities, some invisible but heavy changes having been done on the numeric web tightening Vagabond to the rest of the world. (Soifran)

Où est l'Ours ?

Don't believe travel agencies. It's too common to see lost tourist in search of bears, which gave its name to the island located between Spitsbergen and north of Norway. No bear, but thousands of birds organised into colonies ; Atlantic puffins, northern fulmars, common guillemots and black-legged kittiwakes make that island a better destination for ornithologists than for bears lovers. (Soifran)

Ciao Inglefield

  • coupzydon

17th July. After the decision was taken, all went faster. Chain cleaned as new, life-saving ropes installed, dishes and personal belongings stored, sails ready, motors verified. It was not an easy decision to take; you let a piece of yourself when you leave a place where you have been leaving for five years. Cutting the ropes that attach you to the bay moves you. We are now sailing to Tromsø, where Vagabond will spend the summer. (Soifran)


  • Celebration depart

Better wait than hurry, that's what we hope. Two hundred meters of rope into the ice, and eighty meters of chain, to be washed piece by piece, are the last links tying us to the little Inglefield bay, where Vagabond is finishing his fifth and last wintering. Emotion was celebrated on the beach with fireworks. Later young sailors were learning knots on board. Will we be leaving tomorrow? (Soifran)

Erratum et bête curieuse

  • Des pieds et des mains mat meteo

Our careful and informed readers didn't miss the mistake that took place in our last post, the crew passing from 148 to 149, and not from 177 to 178. Meanwhile work is going on, the dinghy passes by the glacier, and one member of the crew had a bath, taking benefit of the ambient warmth, unless it was the opposite. A strange animal has been seen on the weather mast, anyone having information about this strange specie is welcomed to share it. (Soifran)

Bientôt la quille

  • Amarre givree

Though the icefield is almost broken enough to let us sail, we are still forced to stay, a couple of things to set up on board before the departure, and also and mostly two ropes tightly caught in the ice. Today's main task was to carry some black sand to help the ice melting along the ropes. Meanwhile, in the midnight sun, the captain still has the same age, but the one of the crew passes from 177 to 178. Vagabond is not heavier. Please just let us sail. (Soifran)

De la visite

  • Ours s etire

The icefield surrounding us is still melting down, and we spent part of the day loosing the ropes that tight the boat to the coast, freeing them from the ice when it was possible. Meanwhile an intense activity was occuring around us; a young polar bear caught a seal, but an older male took him his prey. A third one joined them, offering us the strongest's law ballet. Later, after having watched a couple of pictures, a bear -one of the three fore mentioned?- visited us, having a rest on the ice, close to the boat. He gave in to curiosity and came at less than 3 meters from us! Even so, we had to through a banger to dissuade him from settling down for the night along the hull. Just when Eric and France were telling us that the bears were pretty shy this year. (Soifran et Eric)

Mille milliards d'amis

  • Freres jumelles

The icefield shrinks every day. More and more animals are visible, and we are at a very nice observation place to watch the different species inhabiting in Svalbard at this season. Eiders, black guillemots, arctic sterns, ivory gulls, polar bears, narwhals, ringed seals and white whales showed their nose (or back) during this day, letting us thinking about the importance of biodiversity. (Soifran)

La vie au grand air

  • 473bis Piem fire

Those days the small team has intense outdoor activities. Making some huge barbecues with the former dog's huts, pack an enormous tent weighting more than three hundred kilos, hike around to enjoy the view and check the ice state are some of the activities of the Inglefield summer camp. One leitmotiv: let the zone as clean as possible. (Soifran)

Frères et ours

  • Leonie Soifran source

Arrived 72 hours ago, accompanying France and Léonie to their summer estate, Paul-Mathieu and François, a.k.a Piem and Soifran, are enjoying the time before the ice breaking-up, spending some time with their brother Eric and his family. The landscape is gorgeous and the weather sweet, helping activities around the boat, such as unmounting scientific hardware, fill water tanks or just hiking around the boat. Polar bears, numerous at this time of the year, are staying reasonably far away, more interested in seals than in activities occuring around the boat. Léonie is very helpful to fill the water tanks. (Soifran)