Ousland : “We are a very minimalistic Expedition…”

Published on 16.09.2010 - The Northern Passage 2010

Borge taking care of his boat

Borge taking care of his boat

© Børge Ousland

It's quite interesting to listen to what famous Børge Ousland says during this Arctic circumnavigation. The great difference with his other expeditions concerns the fact that for once he has more time to write and even more time to think... What else can you do during a four hour watch ?

The best is to give word right away to Borge himself. The following lines have been written on Monday 13 September, while crew is sailing on the southern route via Dolphin, Union and Amundsen Straits and heading to the next stop Cambridge Bay, where French adventurer Eric Brossier is joining the team whilst Ibrahim Sharaf will sign off.


The Northern Passage : a very basic multihull

The Northern Passage : a very basic multihull

© Børge Ousland

Excerpts from the log book : "Thought I should say a couple of words about the routines onboard. We are a very minimalistic expedition, one reason for that is the weightlimit we have on this type of boat, but also because thats how we like it. We planned this trip as any other sled expedition, with focus on efficciancy and low weight. I also wanted to copy some of the routines I use on sled expeditions. We have one little stove (which uses the same fuel as our outboard engine), and this is only used to boil water. We do not coock any of our food, its all prepacked expedition rations, lightweight, high in calories and easy to eat. So we only boil water and add to the food. We took 75 litres of water from Murmansk and has since used ice and rainwater to supply it. We dont use water for washing, and use only sanatizing gel for hygene.

So far we have not used any heating on board at all, and have not felt that we needed it. Its an increaibly dry boat. When it rains it can be a bit of moisture inside but as soon as high pressure and dried air moves in, the boat dries out very quickly. We are accustomed to the 4.5 degrees average and use wool underwear, socks and sweathers to keep warm. Our sleeping bags are good for minus 20 so we have never had any cold nights either. The insulated rubber boots gets a little damp, but the trick is to have two pair of socks. The moisture always deposits in the outer layer, and this pair we dry on our body at night, this way we have almost always more or less dry boots.

After more almost three months on boar (at least for Thorlief and me, we left 23rd of June), we are very accusomed to the small space and this way of life. We do 4 hour watches, exept at night when we double up sometimes due to the darkness. The only thing I really miss is to use the whole body, go for a walk or a run etc. But that oppertunity will come soon enough. Now we have to enjoy this great adventure when we can. ..."

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