Success in Svalbard!

Briton, Robert McArthur and Scot, Poldy van Lynden are attempting an all-human-power ultra-triathlon from Marble Arch in London to Svalbard in the Arctic.

Rob and Poldy have a drink to make weathering the stormy seas more bearable.

After the sheer misery of being whipped and tumbled by 45 mph northeast winds for days, the duo have finally pulled into Longyearbyen Harbor and completed their ultra-‘quadathalon’ first – a human-powered journey over land and sea from London to Svalbard.

Around August 20th they faced their first storm and had to deploy their sea anchor to prevent from constantly capsizing. They had been facing off with wind and waves pretty much up to August 30th.

Fighting difficult seas and the cold.

There was a window during this period in which they could row, but a moderator reported “the boys had the toughest, most miserable day of rowing. They wish they could convey how horrendous it was.”

One of the biggest challenges was staying warm as they faced cold winds and even colder relentless rain. A lot of the struggle was to just move forward, albeit slowly. The boys were also plagued by “cabin fever and sea sickness” due to the wind and waves.

It was about this time that the boys were teased by land – Bear Island is a cold, remote, uninhabited island that marks the midpoint of their sea journey from the northern tip of Scandanavia to Svalbard.

The remote Bear Island.

Soon after, a southerly wind arrived giving them the great boost they needed to get to the north.

After 81 days of running, swimming, cycling, paddleboarding and kayaking from London to Svalbard, on September 4 the boys finally rowed into their final destination.

Poldy and Rob celebrate their arrival in Longyearbyen Harbor, Svalbard.

Click here for Arch2Arctic’s base page that explains the expedition, contains the latest news, the best photos, expedition links and previous updates.

The Best Quest provides visual experiences of journeys. One by one you see the latest updates from the best expeditions and journeys currently under way around the world. Click here for more details.