ON THE VIK­ING TRAIL

Tak­ing on the Salty North At­lantic Jur­gen Braam

Passage Maker - - Contents - Story and Pho­tog­ra­phy by Jur­gen Braam

Last year, we set out across the North At­lantic route to help No Limit Ships in­tro­duce the 1550 model to North Amer­ica at the Fort Laud­erdale International Boat Show. The idea came to be about three years ago at Hiswa, the largest boat show in the Nether­lands, where Edzard Braam, skip­per and owner of Four Sea­sons (re­viewed, “No Re­stric­tions,” Pas­sageMaker, Novem­ber/ De­cem­ber 2016) joined forces with the crew of No Limit Ships. The No Limit 1550 is a steel­hull 50-footer with in­flat­able sides, mod­eled af­ter the rugged North Sea pa­trol and res­cue boats that en­dure the harsh­est sea con­di­tions.

Af­ter months of re­search and con­sul­ta­tion, dur­ing which many routes were dis­cussed, Braam and crew de­cided in the spring of 2016 to cross the At­lantic by tak­ing the north­ern route via Ice­land, Green­land, and Labrador. Fol­low­ing the trail of the Vik­ings. Af­ter thor­ough prepa­ra­tions, the three broth­ers Braam—Peter, Edzard, and Jur­gen—de­part Am­s­ter­dam on Au­gust 7. Af­ter a farewell press event, their fam­i­lies, friends, and guests saw Four Sea­sons off on her jour­ney to the north and west, into open wa­ter.

Whitby

The ocean awaits, but first the English Chan­nel must be crossed and af­ter that, the North Sea. A strong south­west wind is blow­ing at 6 to 7 Beau­fort, with peaks of 8 to 9. These con­di­tions are not a prob­lem for Four Sea­sons, hav­ing two 575-horsepower Volvo Penta en­gines, a ¼-inch steel hull and alu­minum su­per­struc­ture. Her ro­bust tubes all around soften the mo­tion and give her all the sta­bil­ity she needs. Be­sides, dur­ing an ear­lier 2,500-mile trip from Am­s­ter­dam via the Bay of Bis­cay to the Mediter­ranean, we had al­ready got­ten to know Four Sea­sons quite well. At sea, we ex­pe­ri­ence once more how busy the Chan­nel is.

The strong wind com­bined with lack of sleep cause some stom­ach and bal­ance prob­lems for Edzard and Bas, our sail­ing com­pan­ion up to Ice­land, and we de­cide to make a pit­stop in Whitby, half­way up the east coast of Eng­land. It’s your typ­i­cal old English sea­side town, with for­ti­fi­ca­tions at the har­bor en­trance and rep­u­ta­tion for, among other things, sail­ing and folk mu­sic fes­ti­vals. It’s also the birth­place of the fa­mous English ex­plorer, Cap­tain James Cook, a name that we would later en­counter a sec­ond time on our trip. The night on land has ob­vi­ously done Edzard and Bas some good, so we con­tinue our jour­ney north to the Orkneys.

Af­ter the many drilling rigs in the south­east­ern part of the North Sea, lit­tle ac­tiv­ity is to be seen in these parts. As we ap­proach Aberdeen, the oil town of Scot­land, the bright glow of the many oil re­finer­ies be­come vis­i­ble on the night­time hori­zon.

The Orkneys

Af­ter a brief stop to grab pro­vi­sions in Peter­head, Scot­land—and a req­ui­site visit to the lo­cal pub with a wi-fi con­nec­tion—we ar­rive at noon the fol­low­ing day in Kirk­wall, the cap­i­tal of the Orkneys. This group of 200 small is­lands, of which 70 are in­hab­ited, near the coast of north­ern Scot­land was col­o­nized by the Vik­ings in the eighth or ninth cen­tury AD. The in­flu­ence of these early me­dieval con­querors and ex­plor­ers was so sig­nif­i­cant that the lan­guage Norn was still spo­ken well into the pre­vi­ous cen­tury, and many place names carry that her­itage. Form­ing a nat­u­ral bor­der, the Orkney Is­lands played an im­por­tant role in both World Wars, as a shel­tered ground base for the English fleet, named Scapa Flow. How­ever, in 1939, a Ger­man sub­ma­rine man­aged to en­ter these wa­ters and sank the Bri­tish bat­tle­ship, HMS Royal Oak. Re­mains are still vis­i­ble at low tide near the Orkney coast.

Dur­ing our one-day visit to Kirk­wall, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of bet­ter weather and af­ter our al­most obli­ga­tory but oh-so-de­li­cious fis­hand-chips, we were pleas­antly sur­prised by a pa­rade of clas­sic 20th cen­tury steam en­gines show­ing up in the cen­ter of the town, pro­mot­ing the next day’s fes­tiv­i­ties. Un­for­tu­nately, we could not at­tend as the al­lure of the ocean was call­ing us.

Tór­shavn

In the Faroes, the next ar­chi­pel­ago we vis­ited af­ter a jour­ney of over 28 hours, the Vik­ings have left sig­nif­i­cant traces of their visit to these beau­ti­ful is­lands. Most of the cur­rent in­hab­i­tants are de­scen­dants of the Norse Vik­ings. Since 1948, it has been an au­tonomous part of the king­dom of Den­mark. A group of pi­lot whales, slowly but grace­fully slic­ing through the wa­ter, their promi­nent round faces pointed ahead, ac­com­pany our pas­sage to Tór­shavn. As we ap­proach the is­lands, the clouds open and the sun shines its light on the green hills, in per­fect mix­ture with the cliffs ris­ing from the sea. The odd cot­tage or white light­house here and there. How beau­ti­ful the earth can be.

Tór­shavn, the Faroes’ capi­tol, with its pic­turesque and color­ful har­bor, has a somber but well-equipped ma­rina. We

find our­selves a nice spot quay-side with its many sunny lounge spots and suf­fi­cient in­ter­net re­cep­tion. Later that af­ter­noon, we are warm-heart­edly wel­comed by the har­bor master, who took a great in­ter­est in our boat, route, and des­ti­na­tion. One of our neigh­bors is the skip­per of the Noroly­sio (trans­lated as North­ern Light), an old sail­ing yacht, and pro­vides us with the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion about the sur­round­ings and the pos­si­ble routes to Ice­land. The weather is lovely and we de­cide to stay another day to en­joy ev­ery­thing around us.

Sheep Is­land

The Faroes ar­chi­pel­ago con­sists of 21 is­lands. The name, mean­ing sheep is­land, is a fair re­flec­tion of the land­scape, where on many of the hills half-wild sheep con­quer its ma­jes­tic steep­ness. The is­lands are con­nected to each other through a net­work of bridges, tun­nels, and fer­ries, though the vast ma­jor­ity of the hu­man in­hab­i­tants live in Tór­shavn. We use the next day to ex­plore the town, stock up on fuel, and shoot footage for our video log. We meet two Bri­tish gents who are at­tempt­ing to cross from Green­land to Scot­land in a two-seater kayak— al­to­gether im­pres­sive. We wake the next morn­ing, sur­rounded by fog. Fol­low­ing the ad­vice of our neigh­bor skip­per, we take the route around the south­ern tip of the Faroes to­ward Ice­land. This choice soon proves cor­rect as the fog clears around the hills and af­ter an hour or so, re­veals the most daz­zling view of the fjords, with their moun­tain tops dis­ap­pear­ing half­way into the clouds, sea gulls twirling around the boat, and sun rays like the­atri­cal spot­lights on seem­ingly de­serted vil­lages and cot­tages glued to steep moun­tain slopes.

Play­ing Tag

In front of us lies the ocean with still over 276 miles to cover. The weather is won­der­ful and it’s about 57 de­grees on deck. The 36-hour jour­ney to Ice­land is run­ning peace­fully, with dif­fused light dur­ing the night and morn­ing and sea gulls en­ter­tain­ing us by play­ing tag with the boat. We saw only one other boat dur­ing this part of the jour­ney: a cargo ship headed for Nor­way. The re­main­ing time we are alone, for­got­ten by the world.

In the late af­ter­noon on the sec­ond day, the moun­tains of Ice­land rise into the sky, seem­ingly out of nowhere. An im­pres­sive sight. While we near the shore, a fish­ing trawler idly crosses our path to­ward Hú­nafjörður, the la­goon at Hofn, a fish­er­men’s vil­lage on the east coast of Ice­land and also our des­ti­na­tion for this leg of the jour­ney. The blind­ing light of the set­ting sun is over­whelm­ing, but three pairs of eyes while nav­i­gat­ing make sure we ar­rive safely at the quay of the fish­er­men’s vil­lage, de­spite the strong tidal cur­rent.

Hú­nafjörður

It was not un­til the next morn­ing that we could see the mag­nif­i­cent view of the Hú­nafjörður la­goon in broad day­light and, on the other side, the snowy and icy moun­tain tops of Vat­na­jokull, Europe’s largest un­in­ter­rupted glacier. Es­pe­cially at low tide, when the salt marshes have dried, an en­chant­ing

land­scape un­folds like the set of a fantasy movie. Sit­ting on a splen­did rock at the la­goon, the play of wa­ter and sand at your feet, com­bined with a re­mote view of blue and white moun­tains, you can truly feel a com­plete seren­ity, a mag­nif­i­cent start to our Ice­landic visit.

Ice­land was named by Floki Vil­geroarsen, a Norse Vik­ing and early ex­plorer. Reyk­javík is the coun­try’s cap­i­tal, lit­er­ally mean­ing “bay of smoke,” af­ter the many smoke clouds en­coun­tered by the Norse Vik­ing, In­gol­fur Amar­son, who set­tled there around 875 AD. We, how­ever, still have to cover over 260 miles to get there, which clearly in­di­cates the magnitude of this is­land-na­tion.

Harpa

Dur­ing our jour­ney to Reyk­javík, along the east coast of Ice­land, we see no other ships un­til we ar­rive at the south­west tip. It’s a pretty mo­not­o­nous trip, also be­cause the moun­tain­tops are hid­ing in the clouds and this area of Ice­land is nearly un­in­hab­ited. On the ra­dio, a live re­port on the Ice­land sum­mer fes­ti­val hap­pen­ing that week­end in the cap­i­tal, keeps us alert at night.

We near the cape of Reyk­javík in the fog, but af­ter we ar­rive, a cau­tious sun starts to shine. Some fam­ily mem­bers have ar­rived in Ice­land for the next few days and wave at us from the quay of the ma­rina, right be­hind the Harpa, a brand-new theater and mu­sic hall cu­bi­cle shaped out of blue glass.

We moor within walk­ing dis­tance of the old har­bor area where we find nu­mer­ous small shops, gal­leries, and restau­rants. The old city cen­ter, sur­rounded by mod­ern tower blocks and of­fice build­ings, can also be reached on foot. The first things that catch my eye are the façade coats and rooflines made from cor­ru­gated sheets. Blue, white, and grey, with the oc­ca­sional red; the old build­ings and even most mod­ern apart­ments are cov­ered with this ma­te­rial.

Reyk­javík is built on the hill­sides slop­ing to­ward the wa­ter, widely land­scaped, where lack of space is un­known to its in­hab­i­tants. On the top of the central hill is a church, built from yel­low and white stone. It is a bea­con on a rock, clearly rec­og­niz­able from great dis­tances. The next few days are spent ex­plor­ing Ice­land. The first thing we do is “go whal­ing,” fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the many whale-watch­ing tour boats leav­ing the sur­round­ing har­bors. We don’t need to sail far. Af­ter fewer than 30 min­utes we have our first en­counter with one of these friendly sea mon­sters.

Self­ies

We travel the Golden Cir­cle route in a ren­tal car, a 150-mile day tour. The drive takes us to old vol­canic craters, wa­ter­falls, gey­sers and many more wa­ter­falls af­ter that. The land­scape is beau­ti­fully di­verse. Some­times we en­counter what looks like a de­serted moon land­scape, with eroded moun­tain slopes of weath­ered lava rocks turned green by moss. A few kilo­me­ters away, look­ing down, we find low­lands with a sea view. Al­ways sur­pris­ing and, from time to time, breath­tak­ing. Out­side Reyk­javík, the sub­urbs abruptly come to an end, and the land turns sparsely pop­u­lated save for a pep­per­ing of live­stock farms that draw their power mainly from gey­sers. Va­por clouds and clearly vis­i­ble pipe­lines trans­port hot wa­ter ev­ery­where. Agri­cul­ture is scarce as the cli­mate does not sup­port the ven­ture. There are, how­ever, plenty of green­houses in which to­ma­toes and other crops grow, fed by the en­ergy pro­vided from the hot-wa­ter springs.

We are not the only ones tak­ing this tour. At ev­ery sight we find tour buses un­load­ing mas­sive quan­ti­ties of tourists, off­loaded from cruise ships in Reyk­javík. These are mostly world trav­el­ers, armed with smart­phones, tak­ing their obli­ga­tory self­ies. Just as you some­times see in mu­se­ums or other his­toric places, these selfie-tak­ers seem to have more in­ter­est in them­selves than in

their sur­round­ings.

Seren­ity

Af­ter tak­ing a lovely spa day, we stop un­der the set­ting sun at one of the na­tional parks, sit­u­ated at a lake, sur­rounded by mag­nif­i­cent moun­tains. Not a tour bus to be seen around here: only hik­ers, kayak­ers, divers, and other na­ture lovers. Com­plete seren­ity and no time con­straints.

Another tour starts the next morn­ing. The tour is of “Lit­tle Ice­land,” so named be­cause it con­tains all the dif­fer­ent land­scapes of big Ice­land. Breath­tak­ing at times, the tour tra­verses the coast of the penin­sula of Snæfell­sjökull moun­tain, a stra­to­vol­cano with a glacier cov­er­ing its sum­mit.

In these few days, we weren’t able to cover more than 10 per­cent of the is­land. So much beauty, it de­serves more time.

We re­turn to Reyk­javík to say our good­byes to Bas who is fly­ing back to the Nether­lands in the com­pany of his fam­ily. They wave at us as we leave the dock, with over 600 miles of sea in front of us. Now, only the three of us are left on board Four Sea­sons. This means we

re­jig­ger our watch-keep­ing rou­tine of three hours at the helm and six hours of rest. Not a big prob­lem, but com­bined with the con­stant rolling, pitch­ing, and yaw­ing of the boat, sev­eral days and nights of sail­ing will take its toll on one’s en­ergy level.

Inuit

Af­ter three straight days and nights of sail­ing, the moun­tain tops of Green­land ap­pear. White and blue, cov­ered in glaciers and snow. Ex­cited, we gaze through the monoc­u­lar, try­ing to spot ice­bergs sur­round­ing the cape head­ing south, be­fore con­tin­u­ing their way north­west. Soon we find a few, de­spite the sum­mer sea­son, and many more would fol­low.

We en­ter Chris­tian­sund, an un­in­ter­rupted fjord be­tween the main­land and the ar­chi­pel­ago off the coast. We pass a de­serted Dan­ish weather sta­tion. Green­land is, just like the Faroes, an au­tonomous land of the king­dom of Den­mark. Mainly in­hab­ited by the in­dige­nous Inuit peo­ple.

Sail­ing the Chris­tian­sund canal is over­whelm­ing. The sur­face is full of ice floes, drift ice, small, ir­reg­u­larly yet grace­fully shaped azure-blue moun­tain­tops and the re­mains of glaciers dis­ap­pear­ing into the wa­ter. Not a sin­gle life form or ac­tiv­ity to be seen for miles. Only the ever-present seag­ulls con­tinue to ac­com­pany us. At the end of the canal, at a point where sev­eral fjords come to­gether, we ap­proach Aupi­la­toq, a small, se­cluded Inuit set­tle­ment at the foot of the moun­tains, with a nat­u­rally formed har­bor. We are wel­comed by a cou­ple of silent but friendly and help­ful men. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is dif­fi­cult. We learned they also speak Dan­ish, but, we speak nei­ther. Aupi­la­toq has no more than 180 in­hab­i­tants and con­sists of a col­lec­tion of color­ful, typ­i­cally Green­landic cot­tages, a small church, a com­mu­nity house, a fish-pro­cess­ing fac­tory and, on the hill­top, a satel­lite ra­dio sys­tem and he­li­pad. The vil­lage can only be reached via wa­ter or sky. The har­bor is crowded by many fish­ing boats, the pri­mary source of the vil­lage’s in­come.

Tab­ula

The next morn­ing I take the op­por­tu­nity to shoot pic­tures and footage, sur­rounded by the stun­ning fjords and moun­tains. Armed with a mo­bile ma­ri­phone, I direct Four Sea­sons along the pret­ti­est route. It is amaz­ing to see the No Limit, not a small boat it­self, pale into in­signif­i­cance at the over­whelm­ing beauty and magnitude of this land. Af­ter film­ing, we de­part for Nanor­ta­lik, the capi­tol of the south­ern part of Green­land. It prom­ises to be a spec­tac­u­lar cruise.

Back at sea, a lit­tle off the coast, we en­counter a so-called tab­ula, Latin for table or ice­berg. A rec­tan­gu­lar, colos­sal clump of ice, about the size of a cruise ship. We sail to­ward it and cir­cle it. Im­pres­sive, whim­si­cal, and threat­en­ing all at the same time. The ex­te­rior shows frac­ture lines, which, to­gether with the melt­ing sun­light, even­tu­ally caused the ice lump to col­lapse un­der its own weight. No less than a mile away, we wit­ness its vi­o­lent col­lapse, caus­ing not in­signif­i­cant tidal waves. We were lucky. This ended up be­ing a good les­son in why not to get too close to ice­bergs or calv­ing glaciers.

Ar­riv­ing in Nanor­ta­lik we moor at a fish fac­tory. This vil­lage is sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger than Aupi­la­toq, although still of mod­er­ate size, with a to­tal of 1,600 in­hab­i­tants, 350 of whom live in the near sur­round­ings. It does have all the needed fa­cil­i­ties, though, in­clud­ing two su­per­mar­kets, a clinic, a youth hos­tel, and sev­eral small shops. Last but not least, a well-equipped tourist in­for­ma­tion of­fice where we can pur­chase a wi-fi code. Here, again, the only way to get to Nanor­ta­lik is by ocean or helicopter.

Watch Tower

It is still light out un­til 9:30 in the evening , even though its al­ready Septem­ber. At night we each go for a walk on our own. I visit the old har­bor with its lit­tle boats, beau­ti­fully col­ored wooden church, and brightly painted cot­tages. At the watch tower are a few old cast-iron can­nons, the re­mains of a few cen­turies ago, when Nanor­ta­lik was an ad­vanced mil­i­tary base for the Dan­ish. From the watch tower I look out over the mag­nif­i­cent bay whose view is over­whelm­ing. To me, Green­land is the high­light of our trip thus far, but we have to keep mov­ing and leave to­mor­row. We are on a tight sched­ule, so we un­tie the lines just be­fore noon. The vast­ness of the ocean lies be­fore us and we start a jour­ney of more than 80 hours, the long­est non­stop part of our voy­age. I look back to the

moun­tains, with their tops hid­den in fog and at their feet ice­bergs glid­ing in the sea. They pro­vide a last look at this mag­nif­i­cent place: I know I’ll re­turn to Green­land some day.

Labrador

Af­ter 650 miles of sail­ing—the long­est leg of our trip—we see the first signs of land emerge on the western hori­zon. Labrador breaks away from the sea. Be­hind us, on a blood orange hori­zon, the sun is los­ing a fight with heavy cloud cover and in front of us the land seems to be win­ning its fight. Af­ter over 80 hours of sail­ing in vary­ing weather con­di­tions, with waves as high as 15-feet, and heavy rolling, we are thrilled to see the main­land again. How­ever, cruis­ing through deep ocean wa­ter has the ad­van­tage of a longer and there­fore qui­eter wave pat­tern, un­like the rel­a­tively shal­low coastal wa­ters with their short and feisty wa­ters. This time we haven’t seen any ship for the en­tire jour­ney. We did come upon a whale at a re­spectable dis­tance blow­ing its breath into the air and we saw a group of dol­phins, glid­ing smoothly through the wa­ter, ig­nor­ing us com­pletely. To­tal tran­quil­ity, beau­ti­ful skies, and the om­nipresent seag­ulls, even out in the mid­dle of the ocean.

Depart­ment Store

We are on our way to Mary’s Har­bor, sit­u­ated in one of the many bays, larded with small rock is­lands so typ­i­cal for the coast of Labrador. The land is mainly cov­ered with green rein­deer lichens and the odd, low de­cid­u­ous or conif­er­ous shrubs. The cli­mate is too cold here for trees to grow tall. Af­ter a short stop at St. Lewis Har­bor, we reach Mary’s Har­bor, where we can moor. A group of fish­er­men from the lo­cal shrimp pro­cess­ing fac­tory take great in­ter­est in Four Sea­sons and her weary trav­el­ers. We are warmly wel­comed and we get some help stock­ing up on fresh wa­ter. We get a ride in a 4x4 to the only lo­cal so-called depart­ment store in this small vil­lage of a few hun­dred in­hab­i­tants. Lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing can be sold here, from food to glaze, tools to un­der­wear, and mag­a­zines to liquor. A store like this is es­sen­tial in these re­mote re­gions, es­pe­cially in win­ter, when all is cov­ered in snow.

Ice­bergs

The next day we move on, along the coast of Labrador to­ward Rocky Har­bor, near the mid­dle of New­found­land, a route tipped to us by the kind har­bor master at Mary’s Har­bor. The coasts are whim­si­cal with nu­mer­ous coves and bays, bare, tree­less slopes only cov­ered by rein­deer lichen, in­ter­spersed with cliffs ris­ing straight from the wa­ter. A seem­ingly de­serted set­tle­ment dot­ted the coast­line, with not a liv­ing be­ing to be seen ex­cept for our seag­ull friends or the odd lit­tle fish­ing boat. We are kings of our own pri­vate, deso­late uni­verse. En­ter­ing the Gulf of St. Lawrence—the strait that sep­a­rates Labrador and New­found­land, we spy a rock ris­ing straight from the sea through our monoc­u­lar, which is im­pos­si­ble to find on any map or radar. A mys­tery… Edzard and I dis­cuss the phe­nom­e­non for a while un­til we con­clude that it has to be an ice­berg. As we ap­proach, its blue and white glow, to­gether with its ir­reg­u­lar yet el­e­gant shape, are un­mis­tak­able. We sail to­ward it and cir­cle it for a while. It’s a beauty, shining in the dark wa­ter, un­der a dark blue sky and white

clouds, like a sculp­ture cre­ated by Neptune. Ahead of us are more ice­bergs, float­ing south with the tides, even in late sum­mer.

Tall Waves

We are near­ing the bay of Rocky Har­bor, but we de­cide to sail a lit­tle far­ther to Nor­ris Point, ly­ing some­what more se­cluded be­tween the slopes of what is ac­tu­ally con­sid­ered a fjord. Sit­u­ated at the Gros Morne Na­tional Park, these deep wa­ters were formed eons ago by enor­mous glaciers dur­ing the last ice age. The slopes of the Fjord are green and wooded with conif­er­ous trees. Clouds cover the moun­tain tops and sun­light peeks through, play­ing with the deep, cold wa­ters that freeze over in win­ter. Nor­ris Point is pic­turesque: a com­mu­nity with an eatery by the har­bor, a jetty for the ex­cur­sion boats, and an aquar­ium on the other side. We find a good spot to moor at the quay and ad­mire the im­pres­sive view. Dozens of tourists who are go­ing on a fjord tour are un­loaded by the many char­ter buses. We at­tract their at­ten­tion and they ap­proach us, cu­ri­ous to learn about our jour­ney and Four Sea­sons. We de­cide to let the idea slide to sail the 400 miles to Hal­i­fax the next day. The rem­nants of Florida Hur­ri­cane Her­mine, now re­duced to only a storm, are still cre­at­ing heavy winds and 10- to 15-foot seas. The cap­tain of a neigh­bor­ing fish­ing trawler in­formed us that he’s not go­ing to waste any fuel on the wild sea and is plan­ning to leave the day af­ter to­mor­row.

James Cook

We stay for a cou­ple more days, which is far from pun­ish­ment. Nor­ris Point of­fers us piece and quiet, beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings, and pleas­ant tem­per­a­tures de­spite the winds. This also en­ables us to ex­plore the area. On one of our walks, a mag­nif­i­cent panorama with a view of the fjord un­folds be­fore us. At one of the view­points an in­for­ma­tion board tells us about the English sailor, car­tog­ra­pher, and ex­plorer, James Cook, who, at the start of his im­pres­sive ca­reer, mapped this area in about 16 days. The Vik­ings prob­a­bly also got as far as New­found­land, although there is much de­bate on the ex­act lo­ca­tion of their ar­rival at that time: The “New­found­land Vik­ing Trail,” a tourist route by car, wasn’t named af­ter the Vik­ings with­out rea­son. Another great story is about how a cen­tury ago, it wasn’t un­usual for “New­fies”—a nick­name for New­found­lan­ders—to drag their wooden houses over the wa­ter like a raft to sim­ply place them on the other side of the fjord. A great ex­am­ple of guts and pi­o­neer­ing.

Once we left New­found­land, we con­cluded our fan­tas­tic, strange, and for­eign tra­verse of the up­per At­lantic Ocean. Four Sea­sons was up to the task, and so, as it hap­pens, were her crew.

Scenic Grun­dar­fjörður Ice­land

Four Sea­sons sits qui­etly at the dock in New­found­land be­fore she be­gan her qui­eter coastal cruis­ing down the coast of North Amer­ica.

Four Sea­sons takes on heavy weather in the North Sea for which it was de­signed.

The Braam Broth­ers, Peter, Edzard and Jur­gen, aboard Four Sea­sons on the At­lantic.

Four Sea­sons charges ahead at full throt­tle in the At­lantic

The view from the watch­tower that over­looks Nanor­ta­lik Bay.

The serene land­scape of the Glacier La­goon in Hofn, Ice­land with the Vat­na­jökull glacier in the dis­tance.

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