Strendur, le retour

  • En attendant le vent2

Another nice stop in Iceland, in Neskaupstadur (swimming pool, museum, restaurant, playground...), allowed us to reduce pleasantly the crossing to Faeroe Islands. Pushed by swell and wind, the faithful ship and her crew in good shape reached the archipelago within less than two days. However, we were slowed down by a strong current between the islands, able to drive us backward for a short while!

Ecotroll left Klaksvik this morning under electric power, then she enjoyed a little back wind to use her big kite. With the current, islands were passing fast, until the wind dropped and the wing felled into the sea! Few trials and three recovers later, diesel engines were started to sail the last few miles, against wind and current that time, and to reach Strendur harbour. This is where Ecotroll was taken out of the water in June, it is here that she will have some more controls and improvements, with the help of local Nannidiesel agent, and a technical team coming from France and Italy.


  • Bain pour equipage d Ecotroll

Wavy journey, too much swell for using the kites, but fair winds from Greenland. Ecotroll is in Vopnafjordur Harbour, in Iceland, where the crew enjoyed very much a geothermal pool! The only policeman of the village took us there in his police car, and then the harbour master invited us at home for dinner!


  • Contre-jour

Heavily loaded when starting from Ittoqqortoormiit, Ecotroll carried equipment for next Ecopolaris project (GREA). The 5 people team was expecting us at the Danish scientific station of Zackenberg, in the National Park. They embarked on board our small vessel to sail to the nearest airport (Constable Point). More than 600 miles (1100 km) done in less than 6 days for this logistical trip. On the way, two polar bears (one surprised us when we were having a nap on a beach!), walruses, seals, muskox... and many birds. We passed Daneborg, the Sirius patrol base, watching the Park, then we visited the scientific station, and also some old trappers huts. Last night, wind and waves were pushing Ecotroll over 9 knots between icebergs, cliffs and poor mapped coast of Liverpool Land, while darkness is coming back more and more... High sensations for everyone! Job done for Ecotroll, she will be leaving Greenland tomorrow: heading South, with Marc and Alain, our crew members for the trip Scoresby Sund - La Rochelle.

Position (Google Maps).

Scoresby Sund

  • Iceberg et soleil couchant Scoresbysund

Polar bear and seals, icebergs and glaciers, sun and smooth sea, wind and mosquitoes... nice mix shared during the past few days with Patrice Passinge, who built Ecotroll's hull. New experience for the director of Méta shipyard, who came with his family for the first time in the Arctic!

Position (Google Maps).

Liverpool Land

  • Petit Ecotroll

Last week, Ecotroll was lifted up on the deck of the supply ship of the Royal Arctic Line, while in the village, very expected containers were received one by one. Repair was quick, thanks to Arina Arctica's crew, and sailing along Liverpool Land could carry on...

Again, our boat is at anchor in front of Ittoqqortoormiit. The three ornithologists, and all their equipment, left the little auk colony with us this morning. A polar bear was looking at us from a distance, as if he was ready to recover his lost ground... The day before, we celebrated David's birthday around a fire made from drifted wood (from Siberia), enjoyed a home made sauna (and a short dive in the frozen sea!), and watched once more thousands of little penguins flying together.

Before picking up the scientists, we discover great beaches at Rathbone Island, and their coy fox. Then Ecotroll found her way between many icebergs gathered in fjord Vejle, near glacier Bjerring Pedersens. Some remains of pack ice were also expecting us, reminding us nicely ice breaking up periods in Svalbard, every year around mid-July. A polar bear was in ambush, lying on the ice, trying to catch one of the many seals, all more foolhardy than near the village.

Tomorrow, with Patrice and his crew, we should sail towards the end of the huge Scoresby fjord.

Position (Google Maps).

Kap Hoegh

  • Devant glacier Age Nielsens

At 30 miles from the village, at Kap Hoegh, David, Jérôme and Eric are working on little auks. The research program started in 2004, we already participated in 2005 with Vagabond. This year, without pack ice, will this little penguin change behaviour? This is the most frequent bird in the Arctic, and he is feeding with some plankton growing under pack ice. Is the little auk the perfect indicator on ice retreat? To better understand, observations and data from this new field work will be very important.

Position (Google Maps).

Autour d'Ittoqqortoormiit

  • Glissades estivales

While we are getting ready to take Ecotroll out from the sea, to change two little gaskets, we are staying around Ittoqqortoormiit. The village is not anymore protected by drifting ice, all is gone since last gale (over 60 knots gust). Swell sometimes makes us look for a shelter in the nearest fjords, it is often difficult to go to shore. Many visitors on board; Greenlandic, but also travellers as Vernay brothers, and then our friend Michael Charavin, with their team-mates, they brought items for us. On Wednesday, we did a small talk on board Bremen, a German cruise ship: France and Léonie enjoyed very much the swimming pool! In the village, everybody is waiting for the supply ship, on 28th July. She is coming twice a year only...

Since we arrived in Greenland, we didn't run the diesel engines, solar panels and wind generators keep charging batteries. The wood stove has not been used either since we left Iceland, sun is heating very well the saloon, thanks to all windows. We still enjoy very much Arctic summer!

Position (Google Maps).


  • En attente dans le pack

Here we are, Ecotroll dropped anchor in Greenland! At third attempt, breaking or pushing drifting ice, the aluminium hull found her way to the village of Ittoqqortoormiit. It took us almost 24 hours to do the last 10 miles, sometimes waiting for pack ice to release us: the anchor was dropped on a big ice floe, on which we could walk a bit and stiff our legs! While drifting with pack ice, up to 1 km/h away from our destination... What a pleasure to start sailing, silently, using electric engines, when ices are scattering again.

From Iceland, the trip was less than two days, to enter the great fjord of Scoresbysund. Good sea, jumping whales, curious dolphins, midnight sun, and then a field of huge icebergs on our arrival!

France and I are happy to be back here, with our two daughters and our team-mates. Five years ago, we were coming from Spitsbergen with Vagabond, for ornithology and geology projects. We could not reach the village before the end of July. This year, Ecotroll is the first boat!

Position (Google Maps).


  • Phare de Hraunhafnartangi

Weather is improving! Before sailing to Greenland, a nice walk to the lighthouse of Hraunhafnartangi, with our friends Jean-Baptiste and Denis. They came to visit us by car from Reykjavik, where they left their yacht Algol.

19 years ago, for Fred, Christophe and me, this lighthouse on the northern most point of Iceland, was the arrival point of a great journey across the island with mountain bikes! Lots of memories...