The legendary climber, surfer and „reluctant businessman“ Yvon Chouinard believes that the word adventure has gotten overused; „For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts. Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person.”
Reverend Bob Shepton, the 79 year old sailor, is clear about the essence of adventure and what it takes in a recent interview in Yachting World magazine: „Where is the risk, where is the courage, if you know there is going to be no real danger? There is almost always risk inherent in any challenge and that is what gives the ultimate satisfaction“.
But how much risk should operations like Aurora-Arktika submit their clients to? Certainly people expect to return home in good health but aren´t we all in some ways looking for life-changing experiences – not to come home as the same person?
Our „fine print“ (which should be read with a positive mind!) says among other things: „Aurora-Arktika´s trips/voyages are of an adventurous nature and to relatively remote places in Iceland, Greenland and other areas. We make best efforts to stick to the planned itinerary but participants must appreciate and acknowledge that the trip/voyage requires considerable flexibility. “
The weather will certainly play one of the biggest roles in shaping our trips. We do not advertise eternal sunshine, blue skies and calm seas. In the North Atlantic the weather is really variable and we can expect basically any kind of weather in any month. Since I was a young boy growing up in Ísafjörður I have got not only to accept but to enjoy any kind of weather: kayaking in the rain, ice-climbing in the sleet, skiing in the storm, sailing on a windy day… There is no such thing as bad weather – only different types of weather offering different challenges. But it´s also nice to sit inside while the rain is beating horizontally on the boat with a nice cup of coffee, reading a good book or discussing and “solving” all the world´s problems with friends.
Last week we had some challenging weather and for two whole days we didn´t go ashore because of the high winds. We were anchored in Veiðileysufjörður in a proper snow storm with gusts of wind over 60 knots. This was obviously not the great skiing we all had hoped for but the crew and guests had great time onboard and spent time reading through Aurora´s well stocked library, watching movies, playing cards etc. Some of the guests even went for a quick swim in the storm (!)
Quick statistics show the extremes of the Icelandic weather: On February 17th 1998 there were quiet days with +18ºC and hardly any snow in sight and on the totally opposite end of the spectrum blizzards with -31ºC on February 4th 1980. In the summer we could be basking in a veritable Icelandic heat wave of +29ºC as on July 2nd 1991 or cold and snowy -4ºC as on July 21st 1986.
You don´t have to travel far to experience your own adventure. You simply need to move just a bit outside of your normal comfort zone and challenge yourself a little bit. If you venture off the beaten path and the outcome is not 100% certain you are sure to live your adventure wherever you are.