It started off as anything else but a pleasure cruise. At the final stretch through the Northwestpassage, a snitch turned the wildvikings in. After playing hide and seek with Canadian RCMP and coastguard in Nunavut for 10 days, the entire Berserk crew was finally arrested and deported out of Cambridge Bay. It was the Canadian's “prize” and reward for completing the Northwest Passage and setting the world record for sailing furthermost North to the Otto Sverdrup Islands. But for the Norseman, the expedition in Amundsen's wake had just begun.
After smuggling the Berserk out of the Canadian prison to the land of freedom and liberty “America”, Jarle continued his expedition and began searching for new crew in order to continue in the wake of the Norwegian explorer. In the following months he learnt the modern way of Inuit life, which has certainly changed from kayaks and sledgedogs to outboardengines and ATV`s. From Nome, Alaska Jarle continued, Southbound to complete Amundsen's greatest victory: “The discovery of the South Pole”. This was to be finished by the discovery's 100th year anniversary.
Amongst big Alaskan Grizzleybears and Dutch Harbours hardheaded fishermen, Jarle found a new crewmate. However Ragnarock was destined upon the Berserk. After crossing the stormy Bering Sea to Kamsjatka the Russian hammer struck the crew. The new mechanic onboard was almost beaten to death by hammers, sticks and a knives by some local rascals. He was hospitalized and the Berserk crew had to become nurses until mid november 2009. By then the crewmember was well enough to fly home. In the meantime the stormy seas had turned into freezing snow stormy seas. It was late in the season but the Berserk set sail towards the Sun and warmer climates.
After gaining and losing a crewmember, the Beserk discvered Murphy's law. “If one thing goes to hell, the next thing goes to hell - until you break the chainreaction”. Just as the mainland was lost in the horizon, the main steering broke and a massive fisherman's net tangled the prop which made Southerly miles difficult. Through a salty cruise and a lot of sweating and swearing, the Berserk entered Philippine waters by Christmas.
Heavy sailing and ice ramming in the Arctic ocean wore down the ship, and was put in a shipyard in Subic Bay. The Berserk needed quite a refit before the South Pole. Through two months of enginework, grinding, welding and painting the Berserk was again shipshape and in shining colours flogging its Norse flag. But only for short, a towing line tangled the prop causing the gearbox, shaft, and bearings to completely break down.
The voyage continued “limping” South towards Indonesia, but in the Valley of Toran Toraja death was breathing down the Berserker's necks once again. The expedition visited the “Valley of the Dead” to learn about death, but came a little bit too close as the last crewmember was found in mud with a scared face and ripped intestines. He had been missing for four days!!! After an 18 hour operation in an Indonesian hospital, he was brought back to the living but was still in a seriously ill state. The Berserk's expedition was at the time following the footsteps of a torpedoed and sunken ship. After 10 weeks in the hospital and with 24 hours attendance in the ICU, a Norwegian nurse assisted the last crewmember back home to his mom and the adventure could continue.
The greenhorn onboard ,“Robert,” is a story of his own. After his first party onboard he was lost and then found in the slum amongst friendly people at the garbagemountain – characteristic to the third world. Broke, without shoes, acting disorderly and missing more than a screw or two, Robert “the Bull” and Captain Jarle sailed off from Bali. Against the moonsune winds they reached to what they baptized the “Shithole” - Darwin. It would the expedition's last civilized port before Papua New Guinea and the turning point of the cruise, where supplies and a new crewmember awaited on the docks.
“Samie” ,from the norwegian TV show Seaspray, came onboard with the boldness of youth along with a case of clamydia. From here the Berserk sailed towards adventure dives off the Great Barrier Reef, and the turf of maneaters and the cannibals of PNG. He was soon given the nickname “Sleepy Samie” as his characteristics were a plumbers crack along with a tired face. “Is this guy really awake?,” wondered the crew as anchor was dropped off the Normanby Islands, but they had no time to mumble as a voice shvivering of panic screamed through the bush; “OH MY GOD!!!!! White people!!! HELP ME!!!! HEEEEEEEEEELP. Get me out of here!!!.” Suddenly a black man threw himself out of the bush and leaped onboard one of the Berserk kayaks. “Save your self – Save your lives!!!” he screamed as he convinced the Berserkers to move on.
“Eddie” was an American who searched the relics from heroes of the second World War. He was fooled into traveling to the wrong island by some moneyfishing fishermen who had abandoned him on the island two weeks earlier. He was acting as if in a state of junglefever. The strange behaving jungleman claimed that he was not black but dark brown and that he also was hunted by vicious cannibals. Eddie seemed everything else but sane, and most ubelievable of all he claimed the fame and craftsmanship of a full breed ROCKETSCIENTIST!!! He joined the Berserk and sailed to the Islands of Love.
PNG's four musketers were wished welcome by traditional outriggers and the singing islanders of the Troubriand Islands. The Berserk crew was to learn the ancestoral skills of navigation and seamanship and eventually mastering the sea.. “OBLALIMLA – KOMA KOMA KOMA!!!,” Screamed Samie, to call on the winds. The next time he screamed was not a wind whisper but a scream of fear as the wind had capsized the outrigger, three white, one dark brown and three black men who where swimming around like gold fish. Our indigenous instructor of the art of seamanship laughed at our lack of knowledge about windwhispering and swam us to shore for a lecture.
On land the Berserkers learned about their ancestor's art of seamanship along with the fact that in order to get a wife you need pigs. Thereafter an extraordinary amount of time was spent in the woods and villages chasing pigs and wildhogs. But the crew had little to no luck with any pigs nor brides so they were sent off to a sportsevent by the village chief. It has to be mentioned that only females and the Berserk crew participated in the great Troubriand female games. After loosing in every sports and sing sing event the Berserk took farewell with their new friends and sailed off to the Salomon Islands. Antarctica and the icy Southern Ocean seemed lightyears away.
Eddie “the Rocket Scientist” was supposed to jump ship in Guadalcanal to continue his search for war relics. However, after a short stop in Honiara and a visit to the bloody memories of war he found out he wanted to become an arctic sailor and did not want to travel alone anymore. He did all convincing he could to join the Beserkers in their journey towards the South Pole.
The calendar listed the 5 of November and the breakup season for the ice in the Soutthern Ocean had just begun. “Tide waits for no man, nor expedition” as the Berserk was almost 5000 NM from the South Pole. They had everything, but equipment or a competent crew thought Jarle. But finally the coarse was heading southerly towards the edge of the world although many details were missing.... How to reach the South Pole??? By skis or dogs??? Where to find a competent crew??? These questions plauged the captain's mind when a blonde head was suddenly spotted in the sea. It appeared to be a sight out a legends, a mermaid, so the Beserk crew decided to further investigate.
The Berserk had just lost sight of land when they noticed it was a white man waving a surfboard to signal in the big blue. A blonde oxford English speaking South African surfer swam around seeming as he had been shipwrecked. He said the current had pushed him offshore from his surfspot, and the Berserk crew had to rub their eyes and hit heads twice to make sure it wasn't a dream. Was that really a man on a surfboard???
“May I have a hike, a cup of tea, and a beer or two??? for my nimble fingers,” asked the blondie politely. The surfer felt at home right away. He started chewing on the first biscuit he could reach. “Whats your skills?,” replied the captain as he worried only about the expedition facts and how quickly the ship's jaws teeth were eating Southern latitudes. “Oh dear” what a splendid tea!!!,” sang the noble englishmen, who titled himself with the fancy name of Leonard Richard Banks the third, and then asked for more sugar.