At a few kilometres from the Arctic circle, at the very North of Iceland, Ecotroll is waiting for a little storm to pass, before heading to Greenland. To reach Raufarhofn harbour, our boat had to use all her skills: few hours after departure from Vopnafjordur, no more fuel! Diesel tank empty, by mistake. We are at 50 miles from the next harbour... No worries, we keep going under electric power for about 4 hours, so silent that even whales seem surprised. It is then with the kite that for about 10 hours Ecotroll is slowly sailing her way, while wind generators and solar panels are recharging the batteries. Enough to enter and moor in the harbour with electric engines, despite the increasing wind. A great experience shared with Hakim, who was in charge of Ecotroll's interior design; he joined us last Sunday with his daughter Capucine and Martin.
"Daddy, there is a war ship in the harbour!". In Iceland as well, Ecotroll is attracting visitors. We had just moored today that curious were already talking to each other. Fishermen are interested with hybrid engines, also with the strong and practical look. And questions are many about the strange thing on the roof: the winch for the kite. Unfortunately, waves were too big and the wind too weak and changing, during our trip from Faeroe Islands, to use the kite. In order to get back wind, we decided to sail along a big low... Ecotroll is a small but good boat in the swell! When arriving in Iceland, the swimming pool and the sauna were the good place to meet local people, on this rainy Saturday.
Ecotroll decided to stay a little longer in Faeroe Islands. Despite the technical problem which is extending our journey in the archipelago, we are glad to meet more Faeroe's people, so welcoming and friendly. It is in Strendur that Ecotroll was taken out of the water this morning, to check port propeller. On the other side of the fjord, this afternoon, the Queen of Denmark had a great welcome. It was also the opportunity to greet her French husband, Henry, by a beautiful sunny day. And tonight, Elton John is attracting 6000 people in the stadium of the capital for a historical solo concert. We can hear his music more than 10 km away, in Strendur for instance.
Unexpected summer party in Torshavn! We thought we had drop anchor in a quiet little bay, in front of the capital... it didn't take us long to prepare the dinghy and go to the lively shore. Since this great bath in the crowd, Ecotroll reached Eidi harbour, last stop before Iceland. Guillaume and his video camera just embarked.
Invited by a Greenlandic lady for the National Day, we went yesterday up to the Greenland House, straight after arriving in Torshavn, capital of Faroe Islands. About thirty Greenlandic are living in the archipelago, they like to meet sometimes at their large amazing wooden igloo which roof is covered with grass!
With the help of an unexpected expert met in Frodba, settings of the winch have been improved. Ecotroll was even more amazing for the inhabitants of Tvoroyri when sailing down their fjord at 5 knots, only using the 60m2 kite, with less than 20 knots of wind.
In Faeroe Islands, no big deal with football, teams are training daily rowing. The heavy traditional wooden boats are heroes of competitions organized, all summer long, at a difference place in the archipelago each week. In the fog last night, one of these small boats was passing and passing again near Ecotroll: we could hear the helmswoman screaming accross the fjord, while six strong rowers were trying to obey as hard as they could!
To reach Vaags, south of Faeroe Islands, Ecotroll was not pulled by the kite as much as we wanted. The swell probably made our efforts pointless, and the last recovery of the kite in the water was a bit tricky...In order to improve our technique, we need more trials, with calm sea!
With our friends from Craignish, we reached the Isle of Seil, where the Hunter family was expecting us: five years ago, their son Henry, boat hitch-hiker, embarked on board Vagabond from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, to Ittoqqortoormiit, in Greenland, where we are going again this summer! Before breeding sheeps, Hunters sailed a lot on board a Trismus, a yacht designed by Jean-Pierre Brouns, like Ecotroll. In a very nice place, at Hunter's farm, we met great people, during four days, and also kept on setting up and supplying our ship. This morning, sailing between Scottish islands, Ecotroll arrived at Stornoway, Outer Hebrides, from where we will be trying to start with a good wind for our kite!
Screening of the film Born under the northern stars, in Oslo, during the event organised to share results of the International Polar Year. Screenings at conference location in Lillestrøm on 8 June at 15:30, and as well at Cinemateket, for the public, on 8 June at 20:00, and on 12 June at 15:30 (downtown Oslo).
Ardfern is welcoming us in a very nice Marina. It was five nice nights and days of sailing, enjoying a very fine weather. Dolphins, sun and moon shine, very little wind: we could only use the kite in the Irish Sea. But how fun! Most of the time, electric and diesel engines were running alternately. Here we are in Scotland, where we meet up with our friend Tristan and his family. A year ago, Le Manguier was stopping here as well, by the end of Loch Craignish. It is good to go to shore, first time since we left France. We are expecting a parcel with spare parts, that should allow us to understand the funny behaviour of an engine command...