• Asha

The turning point of the second season of Adventure Now

When we reached our northernmost point of season 1, we looked towards the Arctic, into the dark high seas and were thankful that we weren't going any further! The weather was bleak and the prospect of crossing unknown waters felt uninviting. The sea was rough and I felt seasick. At that point I felt scared of going any further whilst at the same time intrigued by what may lay beyond the horizon. It occured to me that "scary" things are rarely such and more often than not "scary" is confused with what is simply the unknown.


When I was nineteen I left my parents' home bound for New York on my first ever trip abroad. I was due to be away for a year and what I found strange was that people didn't ask me if I was excited, they asked me if I was scared. Everyone who learnt about me going to New York frantically searched their minds for some information as to why this was a bad idea leading into perilous lands and dangerous situations. Maybe having grown up in a little town in the east of Poland I was naive to the packs of big bad wolves out there, but I didn't feel like this was going to be the end of me and I wasn't scared at all. I was positively thrilled!

If there was any uncertainty at all, it was just uncertainty of the unknown.


When I returned home after roaming the US for 13 months, I had grown personally and had learnt first hand that there was absolutely no need to be concerned about the unknown. In fact the only scary part of the whole trip was the sinking feeling I felt when we touched down on the runway at Warsaw airport and I realised I was heading back to the sleepy old town that I had previously left behind.


Calling on this previous feeling and experience, when we reached the north coast of the Faroe Islands this year and looked towards the Arctic I felt the thrill and the excitement of voyaging into the unknown. My heart and soul were yearning for adventure as we forged north.


I find it fascinating how we, as humans, are so good at personal development provided of course we allow ourselves to be. I say this because this year when we reached our turning point of the season I didn't feel anything like at the first one. I felt I wanted more, more of the northern latitudes. The weather was so nice, maybe we could stay longer? Actually this would not be a good idea. The winter isn't a good time for roaming around these latitudes, especially not in a plastic boat, so we would have to seek shelter down south, regroup, prepare and maybe return for more! The month is August and whilst this is indeed a summer month, the sail back south takes time and the weather windows become scarce, so taking opportunities as they come is a wise choice.


After leaving the island of Grímsey we sailed back to the familiar fishing port of Raufarhöfn, the most northern town in Iceland, and home to Heimskautsgerðið, the mystical Arctic Henge, mentioned in a previous blog. As soon as a suitable weather window appeared we ventured east and then made our turn south around the Icelandic coast down to Neskaupstaður, a very pretty town located on the fjord Norðfjörður on the eastern side of Iceland. We have learnt that the town was originally built on a farm called "Nes", hence the name of the settlement. I personally could only remember the name of the town because the first part reminds me of my favourite coffee.


Neskaupstaður is truly idyllic with beautiful nature walks all around with paths leading through woodlands. A very large wall has been built on the north side of the town to protect it from avalanches. The need for such protection only became clear following bitter experience in 1974 when the town was engulfed with snow coming off the mountain leading to the loss of 12 lives. When looking up towards the mountain from the town the wall is completely invisible as it is camouflaged by beautiful trees and simply blends into the mountainside. It is however possible to climb over the wall and see what a spectacular construction of stone and steel it is. Due to the mountain range surrounding the town from most directions, except from the east, the town doesn't get any sunlight at all for some months of the winter. We were very lucky with the weather during our stay. It was perfectly sunny and warm all the time!


We considered sailing to other ports on the south-east coast of Iceland but decided against this in case we missed a weather window for our return to the Faroe Islands by positioning ourselves too far to the west. A friend of ours recommended going to Jökulsárlón which is a glacial lagoon bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. We drove to this fascinating spot where mini icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier slide down into this lake and float on the still, blue waters until they are carried out by the outgoing tide under the bridge and into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Smaller chunks of ice can be found on the black sand beach. This is a pretty cool place to visit despite the large number of tourists that it attracts. Mark says 'Even tourists hate tourists'!


The drive from Neskaupstaður to Jökulsárlón leads along the spectacular coast road and through numerous ports. We found ourselves stopping to check their suitability for a yacht! That's a good sign - we'll be back! On the 7th of August our fair winds arrived and after stocking up on some fresh food and spending the remaining cash in the local liquor store we set sail for Klaksvík in the Faroe Islands.


One of the Polish proverbs says that appetite grows with eating, so guess what - our appetite for the northern latitudes has not been satisfied and we are already planning to go further north in season three of Adventure Now! Does that feel scary? I guess it does, but it is also thrilling, exhilarating and we feel compelled to see more!


P.S. For anyone reading - please leave a comment! I would love to hear from the site visitors what you think about the blog, what would you like to read and what aspect of our adventure sailing you would like more information about. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments 🙃


Colourful flower beds in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Wall built to protect the town of Neskaupstaður from snow avalanches, east coast of Iceland.

Wall built to protect the town of Neskaupstaður from snow avalanches, east coast of Iceland. This construction is huge, and the photo doesn't rely its magnitude.

The town of Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

The town of Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

In the museum in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland - displays a huge range of stuffed animals.

In the museum in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland - beautiful looking mineral.

In the museum in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

In the museum in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland

On the road from Jökulsárlón to Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland

In the museum in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Jökulsárlón - glacier lake on the east coast of Iceland

Jökulsárlón - glacier lake on the east coast of Iceland

Jökulsárlón - glacier lake on the east coast of Iceland

Jökulsárlón - glacier lake on the east coast of Iceland

Jökulsárlón - glacier lake on the east coast of Iceland

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.


The water from melting ice caps is directed into massive drain pipes which go through the walls built to protect the town from avalanches.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

One of the beautiful nature walks in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

One of the beautiful nature walks in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Sundial in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

We had warm and sunny weather for most of our stay in Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.

Neskaupstaður, east coast of Iceland.