by John Curnow on 14 Apr
I always love to look at how the cruising market is changing. Be it the boats themselves, the people undertaking the voyages, the areas you can go to, and of course, there is always the quippy (equipment) on offer to help you get on with it. These are certainly recurring themes throughout these digital pages.
Yes I will certainly still love you when you're almost 64... SW
So I have been as high as the 60th parallel, and fully admit that was in the Summer. So when I saw the iceboat pictured here in early Spring, at the best part of the 64th parallel, you can bet the curiosity was more than piqued! The Jakobstad area and archipelago is listed as -33 degrees C at present, and that is the daily high…
As you can see from the design, it has that Town Car kind of feel, with the sailors exposed to the breeze in the face, so I can only assume that the occupants are actually made from solid 316. Ingeniously it is designed to float, and is meant to be able to ford some serious cracks and the like, so it gets bonus points for that. The cabin looks like it could withstand plenty, and the occupants are apparently out there for more than a week at a time.
In a way, it is more and more like they need some sort of award for effort and execution. Cruising is about getting away from it all, and they certainly have that one completely covered. Fires ashore, ice fishing and with the days getting longer now, exponentially, you could cover some of the 119 square miles of frozen ‘ground’ too.
For someone like me, quite possibly the only way to appreciate this effort is to compare and contrast it with the Australian outback or tropical North. That's vast distances, complete isolation and incredible remoteness. The meteorological perils, and awareness of disturbing fauna need to be heeded, so that the grand beauty, total scale, and complete awesomeness of the undertaking can be truly appreciated.
Yes it is all very impressive, and reminds me of the business of yachting. There are those propping up the bars talking about it all, and those out there doing it. True, some of the best plans get hatched in the aforementioned drinking holes, so to our Finnish 316 legends I would like to bestow the inaugural Nike award, for you certainly are just doing it!
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