Overcast, moderate breeze (E force 5), moderate visibility,
+1 degrees, 1001 mbar
The northernmost point of the route...
There are not so many vessels which have crossed Northern Sea Route and even fewer which have also crossed these latitudes. Out of our fleet, we are the first ones and also it seems that we are the first vessel under our flag to sail across the route. Now we are steaming south of Franz Joseph Land and from here to the North, there is only nature reserve and behind that the North Pole. About two days steaming if it was open sea condition.
There are not yet any traditions existing what to do when you cross these waters, so we planned our own. When passing the Equator there is one where you "baptize" crew members who cross the Equator the first time and for the “Cape Horners” you have a tattoo. For Northeast / High Latitude Passage we cast a tiny present and a letter to “the spirits of the seas” to apply favourable weather for us and good luck to our families. Besides, we sacrificed some personally valuable symbolic items we appreciate to have onboard such as coffee and small notes. Crew proclaimed this to be their new territory and declared them to be among the few seafarers ever reached here.
Jussi Vaahtikari is Master of m/v Haaga. He has participated to the construction of Viikki and Haaga since the design phase and he was also part of the supervision team in China during the construction phase.
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