This is Børge again. So much has been happening that I simply haven’t had time to keep up with my reports. Everything went well in Murmansk; we passed through customs and got our passports stamped. Then our captain set sail for the North Cape. Due to strong winds, we were unable to reach shore there, instead continuing a little further south on that peninsula, to the town of Honningsvåg. With our safe arrival there, we felt we had cause for a real celebration, and we donned the tuxedos that were waiting for us to enjoy traditional smoked mutton and a lively evening. We had booked in advance, only the date was slightly uncertain; I had been looking forward to this for a long time.
From Honningsvåg, Thomas returned to Switzerland, while I boarded the SS “Athene” for the last seaborne leg of my expedition – onward to Bodø. There I will change my mode of transportation, continuing on two wheels and setting my sights on Oslo.
At this very moment we are entering the port of Tromsø. It’s quite a moment for me; for it is exactly the same date, and in fact the same time of date, that Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johanssen sailed in to Tromsø by boat 111 years ago, in 1896.
This has been one incredible expedition for Thomas and me – we’ve experienced amazing things together. Later I will try to convey more of this through a book and a film, so I am hoping that those who are following our expedition here will have something to look forward to.
I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude all those who have follow our journey across the Arctic Sea in the footsteps of Nansen, from the North Pole to the southernmost point of Frants Josef Land. We have greatly appreciated the messages and good wishes that we have received.
Time for celebration! But the barber only had time for Thomas before the Arctic explorers put on their tuxedos.