Patched up and ready to roll

The last few days have seen us (alright, mainly Patrick) bent over the motor and welding convoluted steel parts in an attempt to repair the broken mounting brackets of our motor – a result of us catching a rope in the propeller. Being in the high Arctic (still in Longyearbyen, Svalbard) only makes things more complicated, but people here are extremely helpful and inevitably the locals went far out of their way to fulfill our bizarre requests for strange parts. Yesterday we finally succeeded in fixing the motor and are now ready to head off for a few days diving in Isfjorden, before we resupply and head towards Greenland.

While this is all good news, it seems that the days with our puppy dog are coming to an end. Unfortunately he only very recently got his vaccination against rabies, and it seems to be pretty much impossible to import a dog from Svalbard (rabies realm) into any other countries on our way without him being at least micro-chipped. This in turn requires a blood test (results take about a month) conducted by a veterinarian who only visits Svalbard twice a year … by the time we had all the papers ready we’d be well and truly stuck in the winter ice! While we’re both really struggling with the idea of giving our little monster away, we’re also very proud of him – during the last few weeks he’s changed from a dog who shied away from any human interaction to a curious, cheeky little rascal loved by every tourist (ooh, so fluffy, so soft, and the eyes, the eyes! Photo, yes? Bellissimo!). There will be no problem finding a loving home for him here – many of the locals have already begged to have him (some have threatened to steal him!), but for two in the blue it will be a very sad parting.

So the next few days will be our last with the little Shy Monster (getting rapidly less little) and also our last moments in the spectacular scenery of Svalbard. However we are excited to spend some more time underwater now and get to know the marine life of the far north – stand by for more photos of the aquatic arctic!


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