01-Jun-2005 -- The Imram is an expedition and performance
sailing vessel, an Integral 12.50. In 2003 she explored the
East coast of Greenland, leaving from France. In 2004 she sailed from
Iceland via Scoreby Sund and Jan Mayen to the Svalbard Islands and crossed 80° of latitude North. 2005 is the year of migration
back south to Europe: from Tromsø, Norway to St.Malo, France.
This trip is bringing us across beautiful scenery of untouched, awe-inspiring, nature, where the primeval forces which shaped our planet can still be sensed everywhere. In addition, a sailboat is a perfect -and ecological- way to visit confluences at sea, in otherwise unreachable spots. Unmistakably the scenery is of a stark beauty, which we could share through the DCP such as 80°N 16°E,
80°N 14°E, 79°N 12°E,
69°N 16°E and 69°N 17°E.
Our next target in our southbound trip was 68°N 14°E and we were sailing in the midnight sun toward it, in a gentle breeze, crossing Vestfjord, the largest fjord of Norway which separates
the Lofoten islands from the mainland. A real sea in its own right with 40km of width over 200km of lenght, where storm conditions can brew to horrible... the Maelstrom, after all, is here! We were therefore glad that the weather was nice to us, allowing some rest after
the last 24 hours that had been quite full: After an exhilarating walk in
the snow over the rim of Trollfjord, a jewel in the crown of the Lofoten Island, we had stopped at the Honningsvær fishing village to say hello to some climbers that some of us had met in a hut in the Alps less than three weeks ago (sometimes the world seems small, truly small).
As usual, in our own confluencing style, we made no attempt to stop several tons of aluminum vessel on the spot, and we decided to sail
through this "magic" point. The shifting wind conditions required quite some care to first locate ourselves over the 14th meridian and then follow it, southwards, to the confluence.
At around 4am local time, 2am UTC which is the hour on which we use to live onboard, the confluence was crossed (Photo #2). The scenery of the Lofoten islands all around (Photo #1) was stunning. To the North (Photo #3) the sidelit outline of Vestvågøy; to the East (Photo #4) and to the South (Photo #5); the open sea, which reminded us of the long way is ahead of us ; to the West (Photo #6) the Norvegian mainland, in a crown of other beautiful islands we'll not have the time to visit, this time.
Thousands of miles are in front of us, and the course was set again to due South (Photo #7)...toward other confluences!?