Faroes to Arctic Norway
incorporating the Ocean Crossing Masterclass
June 12- June 25, 2017
Starts: Klaksvik, Faroes
Finishes: Bodø, Norway
£400 deposit secures berth
Watch leader joins June 11
£1,845 watch leader
Intensive tuition. Make rapid gains in your seamanship.
Prepare for limited resources & few creature comforts
Start by exploring & training in the magical Faroes.
The Faroes are magnificent. Vast volcanic cliffs rising vertically out of the water. Millions of seabirds. Seals swimming around. A sense of being in the middle of nowhere - far, far from the tourist track. This is the setting for the start of our expedition, and we will spend a few days sailing around these magical islands,training, exploring and planning. It gives everyone time to polish up their skills and for crew to come together as an efficient team.
These islands, and those who live on them are as welcoming as its possible to be. If they see you hiking along a road, they are liable to stop and offer to take you on a tour! Wherever we get to, you are likely to see thousands of puffins and other sea birds nesting in the high cliffs ad swirling around just above sea level. You will see houses insulated with turf and will get to eat all the local delicacies.... if you are brave enough!
Preparing to sail into the Arctic Circle
All the time we will be keeping an eye on the weather and planning our passage to Bodo. The tides in the Faroes can be ferocious and we will need to plan our exit carefully. We will study pilotage and coastal navigation techniques and ensure the boat is full of food, fuel and water. When the time to go comes, we need to be ready!
600nm of open ocean sailing
Before we know it, we will be setting off and pointing the boat north east and the Faroes will slip away behind us and fade from sight. We are now all alone on the ocean. There may be a fishing boat in the first day or so, but we will be far from the shipping lanes and the chances of seeing anyone else are remote. What we may well see are dolphins, whales and thousands of sea birds. They will keep us company as we settle into a watch system and the rhythm of life at sea.
Sextants and sunrises
We like to put the GPS to one side and navigate using sextants and dead reckoning. It means not only do we marvel at a beautiful sunrises or sunsets, we also use them to check our compasses and ensure we are en route to our destination. We will run watches throughout the day and night and as we get ever further north, those nights will get shorter and shorter.
Arriving in Norway
Eventually we will see the rugged, dramatic coast of Norway appear over the horizon. It is always a thrill and we are treated to sailing through a gorgeous archipelago of islands, hopefully with time to explore some, before finally reaching Bodo. An incredible expedition and always one of our absolute favourites.
Watch Leader for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean
This qualification is the highest certificate in the RYA scheme, coming as it does after the Yachtmaster offshore. It is an internationally recognised qualification that allows the skipper to head an unlimited distance offshore. The qualifying passage must be a minimum non-stop distance of 600 miles run by the log. The yacht must have been at sea continuously for at least 96 hours and the yacht must have been more than 50 miles from land or charted objects while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles. This route qualifies as an ocean passage.
Pre-requisites to be a watch leader
We require our watch leaders to be of a suitable standard. You must be at RYA coastal skipper level (or international equivalent) and you must have completed your RYA Ocean Yachtmaster theory (or have equivalent knowledge). This means you should have a good grounding in celestial navigation.
What we expect from you
We understand that even with your skill level and experience, unless you can get out sailing regularly, things can get rusty. That's not a problem but we do need you to have polished up your basic navigation skills and colregs - at least back to the level they were when you passed your Yachtmaster theory. Once underway, we will expect you to show the enthusiasm, energy and motivational skills expected of a watch leader.
Extra tuition for watch leaders
If you sign up as a Watch Leader, you will be automatically enrolled in our Watch Leader training program - the premier course of its kind. You will be sent a copy of our Ocean Watch Leader: Training Manual which you will need to have read and studied prior to arrival. Your training starts at midday the day before the trip start date. You will then have intensive tuition until the official trip start date. This will cover passage planning for ocean routes, watch leader skills on larger yachts and celestial navigation. This will enable you to be in a position where you can properly run a watch during the ocean passage.
Being signed off as a watch leader
So long as you turn up with the required skill level to start with and fully commit yourself once underway, you will have no worries. However, be warned! Turn up unprepared or fail to act as a good watch leader when underway - and we will not sign you off. If you want a 'gimme' you are in the wrong place!
There is a £150 extra charge and you must turn up 24 hours before the start date.
Join the boat in Klaksvik, Faroes
Join the boat in Klaksvik on June 12 between 1200hrs & 2000hrs. If you cannot arrive before 2000hrs please let us know in advance. Watch leaders must join on June 11, ready to start training at midday
Disembark in Bodo at 1200 hrs on June 25
Bodo is close to the airport which is well served by Norwegian air and SAS
It is a short taxi ride to the airport or it can even be walked
Disembark in Bodo, Norway
There are direct flights to the Faroe Islands airport of Vagar to Edinburgh and London with Atlantic Airways.
Take the no. 300 bus to Torhavn and then change for the no. 400 bus to Klaksvik
Before booking, you need to be sure that you are medically fit to head to sea. The week before embarkation you will be asked to complete the following form online. If you are in any way unsure as to your fitness to sail, you should consult a doctor. We are very happy to accommodate a wide range of medical issues on board but reserve the right to insist on a doctor's certificate if we are at all concerned about your fitness to sail.
in the last two years, have you received or been referred for any treatment surgery, investigations or follow-ups at any hospital, surgery or clinic for any of the following medical conditions:
if you have answered yes to any of the questions above please provide further details
Ensuring adequate cover
Most travel insurance already has a provision for yachting up to 12nm offshore. On an expedition rated ‘Explore’ you are very unlikely to need coverage that extends further offshore than this. For expeditions rated ‘Adventure’ or ‘Intrepid’ you may need some extra coverage as you could be in more challenging areas and further offshore. You should check with your insurance provider if you are at all unsure. We are always happy to provide you with details about your expedition but unfortunately Rubicon 3 cannot advise you on whether you have the correct insurance.
We do not recommend any provider but for your convenience have worked with Travel & General to ensure there is appropriate insurance cover available for the expeditions. There is a link to the specific insurance on below. If you are a non-UK citizen, Travel & General may not cover you. We have found that IMG are happy to cover US citizens and again there is a link on the trip page to their insurance.
The coverage available to US citizens often seems to vary hugely from that available to EU citizens and for that reason we no longer specify minimum requirements. However, bear in mind that medical costs abroad can be significant, especially if emergency medical repatriation is required. If possible, your policy should cover you for at least £2,000,000 in repatriation fees and associated expenses. Unfortunately, this appears to be all but impossible with US policies, with the figure often only reaching $50,000 USD. We accept that this may be the best you can get. Your insurance requirements are covered in section 7 of the Terms & Conditions.
The EHIC card
If you are an EU citizen you should ensure you have your EHIC card with you. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting and the service provided will be the same as received by a person covered by the country’s ‘insured’ medical scheme.
On-board, we provide top quality foul weather kit and life-jackets. You will need to bring the following kit:
We recommend a good 3 seasons bag that can open up fully. A silk liner can really help keep your bag clean and comfortable.
About 4 dry bags, ranging in size from 5 to 20 litres. These will keep your kit dry, electronics safe and such like. Maybe get ones with windows so you can see what’s inside. Pack a little silica gel pouch in each one to really keep things dry. If you don't have dry bags, plastic shopping bags are decent alternative!
I-pod, camera, kindle etc. Put them in a waterproof cases wherever possible. Writing materials, pens etc. Each bunk has a USB charging point, so bring a lead.
It has to have a red filter, but other than that, don’t go for anything fancy or expensive.
We like ones that are a bit waterproof and that really come down over the ears. A wide brimmed sun hat can also be a great second hat.
Have a thin woolly pair and a nice thick pair for night helming and such like. Bring more than one set, because they’ll get wet and then they’re useless! We really don’t rate most expensive sailing or skiing gloves, not least because their liners tend to pull out when wet making the glove impossible to get back on. Mittens really are ideal.
There really is no need to buy expensive or technical base layers. If you are on one of our colder expeditions, some woolly long-johns and a couple of long sleeved base layer tops will be your best friends.
Underwear and socks
Bring enough that you can wear a fresh set every day for up to a week. Why not?
Light weight long sleeve top
For hot sunny days and sunburn issues
1 pair long trousers for day to say sailing
There really is nothing to beat fleece-lined snowboarding trousers. Warm, weather proof and cheap. Why pay hundreds more for inferior kit?
These are what will keep you warm, so bring plenty. Thick fleece jackets and woolly jumpers are great. Duvet jackets are also very good, though you have to keep them dry.
Mid weight jacket
Something to wear as an outer layer that is windproof and at least shower proof. If it gets really wet, then you swap it out for our foulies!
You can spend a fortune but you really don’t need to, especially if you’re just joining us for one or two legs. We’ve sailed in £30 rubber sailing boots and they are absolutely fine (and dry). We’ve also sailed in £200 ocean sailing boots and been wet. If anything, go for rubber sailing boots to start. I fyou think you’ll sail regularly the Musto HPX Ocean boots are great as are the Dubarry Ocean boots.
Flip flops are great once we’re ashore and a pair of cross-trainers or light hiking boots can also be invaluable for exploring ashore in muddier areas.
They should be polarised and have a safety strap
Tooth brush and toothpaste; small bottle of shower gel; deodorant; SPF 15+ Sun cream (the sea reflects the sun and you will burn); towel (it doesn’t need to be a travel towel). Ear plugs can be very valuable.
Swimming gear and goggles
A knife / pliers combination
Not essential but very nice to have.
An internationally recognised credit or charge card and some local currency for when you first arrive.
Some shore clothes
What we provide
Top quality foul weather kit.
Life-jackets (please note, you are not allowed to use your own life-jacket on board, so please do not bring one)
A pillow for your bunk
Please pack your kit in a soft bag than can be folded away. Hard bottomed cases are very difficult to deal with on board.
Breakfast time. One day it may be bacon and eggs, another day toast, cereal and fruit
The boat is ready to go, the engine checks are done and all the lines are rigged. Our navigator for the day has planned our route and it's time to slip lines
Sailing along under full main and yankee one, taking a bearing on the lighthouse as the snow capped fjords of Norway or maybe the bustling, sweltering cities of north Africa glide by. It's a time for practising navigation, helming and just enjoying the sensation of sailing this fast, powerful yacht.
The crew may have used to the sextant to take a sun sight at noon to help fix our position. The chef for the day will have made a hearty chicken salad, maybe with some fresh bread to go along with it and we'll usually eat up on deck, either underway or we may anchor is a lovely bay.
After lunch is always a good time to have a more formal lesson. It could be working on weather routing, sail trim or getting everyone to helm a man overboard exercise under sail. We shape the training to the needs of the day, but with everyone assured of big gains in seamanship during the expedition.
This is always a good time to be looking to stop for the day, and almost every day we will stop somewhere for the night, either at anchor or in a port. On the longer range expeditions there will be more opportunity for sailing through the night, possibly for consecutive days.
There's a often a cold beer to be found as we relax after another day's sailing. There's the sea kayak to explore the local coast, a bike to cycle around town and since we're always in a new place, plenty to explore.
We'll always have a good, hot dinner and we pride ourselves at Rubicon 3 on the quality of our food. No pasta and sauce here; you're more likely to be eating roast lamb or freshly caught fish, always with lots of fresh veg to go with it.
While some people may be ashore having a drink or taking a shower, others can settle down in the saloon to watch one of the 50 or so movies that we carry on board. It's a chance for a gin and tonic, a chat and some serious relaxation with new found friends.
Do have a look at our Facebook page. We post as often as we can from each expedition. It's the best way to see where we go, who goes on these expeditions and what daily life is like. The photos page in particular will give you a great feel for it all!