Arctic Delivery - Part 1 Complete!

Having departed from the shelter of Baiona on the Spanish west coast, the crew headed into biscay. Despite avoiding the worst of the weather system, the crew were still faced with 22knots on the nose and 8m swell. Having set a reef in the main and with the swell due to decrease over 12 hours, they cracked on. Needless to say there were a few green faces - but the less said about that the better! 

After 24 hours, as forecast, the wind and swell decreased well enough for Firebird to make some head way across the bay. By the time they reached the English Channel a strong south westerly of 33knots and tide with them saw Firebird hit 16 knots boat speed. The good luck sticking with them, the team made a speedy nip round the east corner of the UK, past the Thames and down the river Orwell, resembling more of a mill pond as the sun set. 

Just one last thing to navigate.. the bridge! Ipswich is known for having a concrete box girder bridge, not dissimilar to those found in the fjords of northern Norway. As night fell, Tim was hoisted up the rig to ensure that there was enough clearance with the tide. Good practice for some of the bridges in the arctic which have just 2 metre clearance. Fortunately, with more than enough clearance Firebird continued to pass through the lock, before entering Ipswich Haven Marina. 

Firebird and the team will start part two of their journey north in ten days time. Let’s see what the north sea has in store..

Arctic Sailing

Its not just the skiing that gets the smiles on faces. With the breeze set in between the fjords guests enjoy a once in a lifetime sail between their daily changing ski locations. Cozying up in the cockpit with a cup of cocoa (with a touch of rum of course) makes your floating chalet even more unique as the scenery around you morphs from one snow capped peak to another. We're at the end of the season already and we can't wait to be back again in Winter 2018! See you there? :)

Sailing arctic.jpg

Apres Ski - With a Twist

Whilst you may be used to diving into your favourite apres ski bar, you can also enjoy the likes of a private “Ghost Pub” after your ski down the mountain in remote northern Norway. Our favourite, again on Kvalloya, is left unlocked and unmanned for anyone to use, set with a sound system and bar – your own private party! James Ollie and Mel met guests today with “Afternoon Tea” treats and cans of beer kept cold by arctic snow on your way in to the pub and homemade steaming gluhwein once inside.


Northern Lights Hunting

So where is this green phenomenon that everyone is obsessed with? Tromso is a flurry with foreign faces, all hunting for a chance to see the lights. But some cards are best kept close to your chest, the lights from the city make the optical night time show less vivid, and on Firebird we have the ability to find remote nooks in the fjords, unspoilt by artificial lights, where the Northern Lights are even more spectacular. On the first night of our first trip – guests topped off their evening meal with a show right above their heads, away from the tourists.

Northern Lights.jpg


Being met by glistening bright white fjords made the windy winter sail in the North Sea worth it as Firebird arrived in Tromso, the furthest northern city in Europe. The boat having been specially modified to be used as a mobile base for ski tourers meant we were more than ready for minus figures and several feet of snow on the deck and docking in this part of the world in February sometimes means you need to go hunting for posts to tie your lines to! *Picture Ollie*

So why Tromso as the base? Well as well as being Northern Norway’s hub, it also has plenty of amenities for those who want to ski and sail. We use a local rental shop – Tromso outdoor, for reliable equipment for our guests who are unable to travel with their own kit, and for those who do not already have an ice axe, shovel and probe it also comes in handy!

Fortunately for us, the sun finally made an appearance after 3 months of darkness, shortly before our arrival so as well as being able to see the decadent snowy fjords as we arrive, we also get an instant taste of the local food – sonnenbrot, sun bread, a jam filled doughnut to celebrate the return of the sun.