Photos (c) peter gallinelli et pierre-marie bourguinat 1995 et 2001

Sailing and mountaineering in the North Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Baltic   

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Imram 2003-2007 is a visit to last truely wild, and therefore relatively unknown, areas of the Northern hemisphere. One still finds here extended uncharted regions. Surprisingly, the islands in the N Atlantic are much affected by human activity. Global heating is already changing these places, and will in the foreseeable future drastically modify them further. Besides being interesting from the sailing point of view, one of our goals is to observe and document these changes while they happen.

Our itinerary sofar followed the tracks of the first Europeans to visit the New World. Starting from Ireland between the 5th and 7th century, using leather boats, the Hebrides and the Føroyar were colonised. From the 9th century on, the Norse peoples went to Iceland and then Greenland. We also followed the 16th and 17th century Dutch whaling fleet who visited Jan Mayen and Svalbard, where we passed 80° N. On return, we spent considerable time along the Norwegian coast.

In the 2007 seasons, we plan to visit the the Baltic, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland.


Map source: http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/arctic_topography_and_bathymetry

Inspite of using a resolutely modern boat, we use paper charts, rulers and protractors to position ourselves - there is a GPS onboard, but it mainly serves for anchor watches. The boat has no furling genoa, left alone a furling main - both these sails are full-batten. The boat is equiped with an asymmetric spinnaker for light wind conditions. There are no electric controls either, not even an electric water pump. All this contributes to having a light boat which is fast and behaving like a true sailing boat. Thanks to its closed cockpit, from where the boat can be manoeuvred with comfort also when it is cold and wet outside, we're not limited to sailing when the sun shines. We do of course try and avoid storms and other dangerous conditions. All crew is expected to take part in all activities: helming, manoeuvres, positioning, weather bulletins, repair work, buying food supplies, cooking etc.

Life onboard is necessarily simple - the boat is comfortable, yet without luxury. There are 3 cabins with 2 places each and crew members tend to move around with their sleeping bag, picking the most comfortable place that happens to be free. There is just one toilet onboard, but it is truely big. There is no fridge nor warm flowing water. The boat has a central heater.

Watches are from 2 to 4 hours long and the boat operates around the lock, which is convenient in the North, where the sun doesn't really set, so as to optimise visits on land.

The Imram outings are organised by the non-profit àCAPela club. All participants are member of àCAPela and pay to àCAPela the entry and membership fees as well as the cost of the travel. In turn àCAPela charters the boat, insures it, ensures that damage to the boat is repaired, buys the basic food supplies, pays communication fees, and buys equipment and charts as needed. There is no external sponsoring. The club does not pay for Diesel, additional food, harbour fees, canal fees, travel by the members to and from the ports of call etc. These expenses are as appropriate either payed directly by the members or shared amongst them.

We report on our travels via http://imram.sailworks.net, via lectures (for the YCC in 2003 and 2004) and via articles in the specialised press (Loisirs Nautiques 12/2004, SEIL magasinet 09/2004).


Photos (c) peter gallinelli 2003

Some of the places visited sofar: St Malo, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, Isle of Jura, Isle of Skye, Føroyar, Iceland, Grimsey, Greenland, Ammassalik, Kangerdluggsuaq, , Mikis Fjord, Blosseville coast, Scoresby Sund, Jan Mayen, Lofoten, Bjørnøya, Spitzbergen, Moffen, 80N, North-East territories of Svalbard, Hinlopen Stretet, Norway, Shetland Isles, Orkneys, Scotland W and E coast, W coast of Ireland, Bretagne, Lewis, St. Kilda...

 Programme for 2007: Baltic, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland
Leg 16 17 18 19 20
  Sailing Sailing and Ice Sailing Sailing Sailing
From Lbeck Åland Kemi Helsinki Riga
Destination Åland Umeå ? Helsinki Riga Kbenhavn
Via
Karlskrona
Gulf of Bothnia
Mariehamn
St Peterburg
Bornholm
Distance [nm]
600
450
650
500
650
Departure date
Sun Apr 1st
Wed Apr 11th
Sun Jul 27th
Thu Aug 9th
Wed Aug 22nd
Arrival date
Wed Apr 11th
Sat Apr 21st
Thu Aug 9th
Wed Aug 22nd
Mon Sep 3rd

Notes:

  • Legs 16 and 17 intend to see the Gulf of Bothnia over Easter, when the ice starts to break up. The point of arrival depends on the ice and weather conditions.
  • Legs 18, 19 and 20 are the summer program with the Northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic states.
Total duration: 9 weeks.

For further information please contact asso@sailworks.net

 Programme for 2006: Ireland, Scotland, Føroyar and Norway
Leg 13 14 15
  Sailing Sailing Sailing
From Brest Lochboysdale Stonehaven
Destination Lochboysdale Stonehaven Lbeck
Via
Ireland
Føroyar
Norway
Distance [nm]
760
1050
940
Departure date
13 Jul
27 Jul
17 Aug
Arrival date
26 Jul
16 Aug
1 Sep

Total duration: 7 weeks.

 Programme for 2005: Norway, Scotland and Ireland
Leg 10 11 12
  Sailing Sailing/Canal Sailing
From Tromsø Florø Oban
Destination Florø Oban St.Malo
Via
Lofoten
Shetland
W Ireland
Distance [nm]
750
500
1100
Departure date
29 May
10 Jun
21 Jul
Arrival date
10 Jun
21 Jun
5 Jul

Total duration: 6 weeks. The programme is constrained by a return to France in July. As a result, departure from Norway is early, which has the advantage that the days are long and also that there still is snow in the mountains.

 Programme for 2004: - Greenland - Jan Mayen - Svalbard - 80N - Norway
Leg 6 7 8 9
  Expedition Expedition Expedition Expedition
From Rekjavik Lofoten Svalbard Svalbard
Destination Lofoten Svalbard Svalbard Narvik
Via
Jan-Mayen
Bjørnøya
Hinlopen Stretet
North Cape
Distance [nm]
1200
750
550
750
Departure date
11 Jul
26 Jul
7 Aug
20 Aug
Arrival date
25 Jul
6 Aug
19 Aug
1 Sep

The dates are, like in 2003, a compromise: on the one hand, we have to arrive when the pack ice has disappeared, which happens rather late here, but we also need day light and good weather conditions, both of which are more easily found early in the season. Total duration: 10 weeks.

 Programme for 2003: Scotland - Iceland - Greenland
Leg 1 2 3 4 + 5
  Delivery Delivery Expedition Expedition
From St. Malo Lofoten Reykjavik Angmassalik
Destination Lofoten Reykjavik Kulusuk Reykjavik
Via
Jan-Mayen
Føroyar
Paul-Emile Victor's house
Kangerdlugssuaq
Distance [nm]
1000
1200
800
800
Departure date
23 Jun
7 Jul
21 Jul
11 Aug
Arrival date
4 Jul
18 Jul
8 Aug
5 Sep

The dates are a compromise: on the one hand, we have to arrive when the pack ice has disappeared, which happens rather late here, but we also need day light and good weather conditions, both of which are more easily found early in the season. Total duration: 12 weeks.

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