John Gore-Grimes

Vasey Vase - 2006

(Arctic Fern – Najad 44) – sailed from Howth, Ireland up as far north as 810 15’N in Spitsbergen (where he and a crewman took a swim!) and return, a distance of 5,055 miles were sailed in 59 days with a crew of 6. The voyage took in the Faeroe Islands, Spitsbergen, through drift ice to Greenland and a place called: Ittoqqortoormiit. From there they headed further south through thick ice and spotted a polar bear standing on a flow, 150 miles offshore. I quote from his write-up:- “ Pressing or pushing through ice is laborious and disheartening. The unimaginative triumph in ice because they cannot see or feel the peril. For many years I ploughed on merrily with about as little care as a tightrope walker on the wire one foot above the ground. We were bold and carefree trespassers. Today, the words horror, panic and dread would come close to describing my involuntary feelings in ice. I have not suddenly become imaginative but I have become more familiar with this erratic and perilous environment. I am seduced by its beauty. I am intimidated by its energy and its potential to do serious damage at very short notice.” Meeting a pod of about fifteen whales before stopping at Reykjavik they stopped at Hiemey in Westmann Islands to climb the world’s newest mountain: Eldfell, created in 1973, before heading for home via the Faeroes and Scotland.