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Old 04-05-2012, 06:53   #31
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Re: Iceland

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Originally Posted by Erik de Jong View Post
No, this year I will sail in West Greenland and (North)Eastern Canada.
I might go to North West Iceland in February and March though.

Did you make a decision on the route you are taking and which area you like to visit?
I have not yet received the pilot books so have not done any detailed planning. But the general idea was to sail up the East coast of England and Scotland without stopping (if the weather serves). Maybe a day sail from Hamble to Brighton to start with, then Brighton all the way up to the Orkneys. Spend some time in the Orkneys -- 4 or 5 days. I will have someone on board who knows the Orkneys well, particularly the wealth of neolithic sites, which interest me. Then Orkneys -- Faroes. Spend a few days in the Orkneys, then on to Iceland from there.

I have not yet researched what I want to see in Iceland, but I want to circumnavigate the Island and, by all means, get above the Arctic Circle, that being so close. Spend a week or so in Iceland, then sail from there for the Northwest coast of Scotland. Leave the boat there (I will have to go back to work) and bring her down gradually back to the Solent over a series of long weekends via the Irish Sea.

That is the prelininary and still sketchy plan; I'll work it out in better detail when I have the pilot books. If you have any advice, I'll be very grateful! Cheers, Dockhead
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:10   #32
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Re: Iceland

1 week is very fast sailing, if that is the plan, skip the east coast of Iceland completely. If you want to tip over the Arctic circle, "grimsey" (island) is where you want to go. It is a tiny island split in half by the polar circle. To symbolise it, there is a piece of pipe laying there with a two-step stair over it so practically you step over the pipe and the polar circle at once. By continuing your way east or west and sailing north of the Island, you also pass the polar cirlce by boat (twice).

Other places I found interesting:
-Husavik (stay not to far from the whale watching boats on your way and you are pretty much guaranteed to see some of our mighty friends!)
- The entire area in the NW (the "hand" shaped peninsula) doesn't matter where you go, it is all similar but extremely beautiful and practically uninhabited.
- Reykjavik is worth visiting to get to know a bit more about the Icelandic culture.
- Vestmanyar Islands in the South West are worth a visit as well with a mandatory visit to the cinema where there is a documentary showing daily about the vulcano that created the island and is still threatening the inhabitants.

If you can, skip any visit to other places on your way and expand your visit to iceland itself to the maximum, 1 week is really short and leaves you only 2 or 3 stops on your circum navigation.

If there is anything you like to know, feel free to ask!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:58   #33
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Re: Iceland

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Originally Posted by Erik de Jong View Post
1 week is very fast sailing, if that is the plan, skip the east coast of Iceland completely. If you want to tip over the Arctic circle, "grimsey" (island) is where you want to go. It is a tiny island split in half by the polar circle. To symbolise it, there is a piece of pipe laying there with a two-step stair over it so practically you step over the pipe and the polar circle at once. By continuing your way east or west and sailing north of the Island, you also pass the polar cirlce by boat (twice).

Other places I found interesting:
-Husavik (stay not to far from the whale watching boats on your way and you are pretty much guaranteed to see some of our mighty friends!)
- The entire area in the NW (the "hand" shaped peninsula) doesn't matter where you go, it is all similar but extremely beautiful and practically uninhabited.
- Reykjavik is worth visiting to get to know a bit more about the Icelandic culture.
- Vestmanyar Islands in the South West are worth a visit as well with a mandatory visit to the cinema where there is a documentary showing daily about the vulcano that created the island and is still threatening the inhabitants.

If you can, skip any visit to other places on your way and expand your visit to iceland itself to the maximum, 1 week is really short and leaves you only 2 or 3 stops on your circum navigation.

If there is anything you like to know, feel free to ask!
Thanks! Extremely useful information.

I guess I need to get up there as fast as I can, weather permitting. Just long enough in Orkneys and Faroes to rest up and -- no doubt -- make necessary repairs.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:08   #34
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Re: Iceland

Enjoy!
One warning; you should not be afraid of wind and cold. there is usually plenty of both on Iceland. Makes it all more rewarding!

Skipping Orkney and or faroes is a mandatory evil if you want to see something on Iceland. You can always keep it as a backup in case there are strong NW-ly or W-ly winds on your way to Iceland.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:14   #35
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Re: Iceland

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Enjoy!
One warning; you should not be afraid of wind and cold. there is usually plenty of both on Iceland. Makes it all more rewarding!

Skipping Orkney and or faroes is a mandatory evil if you want to see something on Iceland. You can always keep it as a backup in case there are strong NW-ly or W-ly winds on your way to Iceland.
I have a strong and very seaworthy boat, and sail in below freezing temps from time to time. I can handle wind and cold. But I thought in July, Iceland has little risk of storms, and tends more to calms?
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:23   #36
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Re: Iceland

I spend quite some time on and around the island, and never encountered a single week without a lot of wind at some point (maybe I'm just unlucky).
I must say that it is usually along the coast that there is a lot of wind. Very often there is a strong land breeze coming down the mountains, especially if there is a lot of snow on the mountains. There were moments that we had a constant 40 knot breeze while at anchor, we moved one fjord arm in any given direction and it was dead calm. Weather is not reliable and the forecasts only give you the main picture. As soon as you come close to land, it is different from the open sea.

It is not something a good boat can't handle, and it seems like you have one, but a warning might not hurt. The pilots you ordered explain everything a bit more in detail than I do in this post. Just take your time to read it through. It basically means that you need to be flexible in your planning, there is nothing on your way a good boat with relatively experienced crew can't handle.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:24   #37
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Re: Iceland

Dockhead, do you have a blog or website? Im looking at points north next year, always educational to read of others experiences. And fun as well
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:14   #38
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Re: Iceland

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Dockhead, do you have a blog or website? Im looking at points north next year, always educational to read of others experiences. And fun as well
I don't have a blog, and if I did, it wouldn't help you much, since I have never yet been North. I can't wait!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:26   #39
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Re: Iceland

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since I have never yet been North. I can't wait!
Be carful: once you're hooked, you're hooked for life
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Old 29-06-2012, 14:04   #40
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Re: Iceland

Not sure if I'm too late to help out here, but if not...I crewed on a Challenge 72 that spent quite a bit of time in Iceland last summer (2011). We were up north the entire time and I loved it. Earlier admonitions about long fjords (so have a good engine) and all-or-nothing winds/weather were spot-on. Some towns/areas I would suggest:
* Akureyri: nice town, bigger than others on the north coast, easy air access for crew joining/departing; plenty of supplies and things to do (and a GREAT pool)
* Isafjordur: charming town providing a base from which to access to the Westfjords area...which is definitely worth checking out whether by boat or rental car
* Husavik: quaint town with small harbor. Good little museum
* Grimsey: as mentioned earlier...island through which the Arctic Circle passes

We didn't go to the Orkneys last year but we did spend quite a bit of time in the Shetlands, both coming and going (from the boat's home port of Newcastle)...and the Shetlands were wonderful. I've heard equally good things about the Orkneys, though they do have more visitors given their proximity to the main part of the UK.

We also omitted the Faroes (much to my regret) and we were told that they can be challenging to approach in less-than-ideal conditions.

Finally, whoever kept recommending Norway's Lofoten Islands was spot-on: a truly spectacular region and one I hope to return to again someday.

The guidebooks we used (Imray) were all fairly accurate and helpful.
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