We're off to circumnavigate the world

Added 27 Aug 2012

OK, not the whole world, but at least a very exciting part of it. Remote, mysterious and extreme, the island of Spitsbergen is the jewel in Arctic Norway’s crown, a land forged by snow, ice, ocean and wind, that presents you with a spectacular range of unforgettable adventures. Located on the southern fringe of the ever frozen Arctic Ocean, where the warmer currents of the Gulf Stream meet the colder air and water from the north, Spitsbergen and the other islands of the Svalbard Archipelago are a biological hot spot. The aim of our 2012 expedition aboard one of our favourite expedition ships, Hurtigruten's MS FRAM, is to circumnavigate Spitsbergen and discover the incredible Arctic flora and fauna via shore landings.

Preparing for the voyage, Richard and Dawn decided to invest in new windproof and waterproof jackets. The old jackets have just about run their course and are no longer 100% waterproof! They were well made and have done good service since their purchase in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2000. For modern replacements we headed to Ashford's outlet stores where there are a choice of outdoor and adventure clothing specialists. After visiting every shop and trying on numerous jackets (far too numerous, Richard thinks), both agree on a TOG24 Goretex jacket which ticks all the boxes. Sadly the Ashford shop only has one item the right size, but they make a call and discover their branch in Dover has another. So, off to Dover we go! Jackets are now purchased and lunch on Dover's seafront was also most pleasant. And we met a couple of clients by chance too!