In the brief window of travel opportunity way back last Autumn, we set sail for Norway in our boat TessBess. This trip had been long planned, then Covid happened and we thought that was it, but, briefly the borders opened and we went for it. Sailing from Scalloway at the end of September 2020 and arriving in Norway on the island of Runde to self isolate.
My thought was, that I would be able to write blogs as we travelled.
My Ipad is undoubtedly a most wonderful tool, but, I had not foreseen that I would be unable to edit my website on it. Hence the long silence.
This was the start of our year long adventure. we left in search of snow, to experience the kind of winter that I had read about in story books, where folk ski to the shops and it snows dry cold snow day after day. I wanted to experience this before global warming strips the world of this magic. I wanted to see wildlife and the kind of seas I had read about, that were full of life.
I wanted to record my travels with a sketchbook diary, for me, this is the best way to connect with where I am and to make those memories stick I also wanted to see what new work and ideas might evolve from such a trip and could I in fact keep working and earning a living as I go.
Our quarantine on Runde was 10 days (as we had already spent 3 days at sea) it was, as all Norway is, beautiful. We walked and explored, I swam in the sea and I sketched.
We decided that we should carry on with our year as planned, but, with a different itinerary because of the number of times we would have had to isolate even if it would be possible to continue to travel north at such a time.
Norway was surprisingly free of cases of Covid except in Oslo, so our new plan was to travel the whole cost to Tromso then to sail to Svalbard and all the way back again.
This is what we did, over the course of a year we sailed 3426 miles from Shetland to Svalbard and back again.
I am incredibly grateful to my wonderful daughter Tess and her partner Aaron who not only looked after my dog Fester for the whole year but, who also managed my GillyBDesigns Etsy Shop and sent out all the orders. Their support has been incredible.
The magnificent Etsy/Fester team.