Susie Theis
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Journal

I thought it would feel like the end

Almost three hundred miles out we smelled the trees. One of those things I hadn’t realized I’d missed until my senses were awaken by their familiarity. Land was just within reach. Although I knew I had weeks to go, Canada felt so close to home. Landfall here would be different this time. I started to feel my mind press ahead to what comes next. This was our last big passage, afterwards it’d be a few overnight sails before I was boarding a plane in Newfoundland headed west.

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Dancing with the Inuit, singing with the Polish (or at least trying)
I never realized until I came on this trip how much I had settled into routine. My routines are different than most people (since I work from home) which gives the illusion that I have none, but my weeks did seem to involve a rotation of the same activities. However, after three months onboard Arctic Monkey the unexpected has become routine and our second morning back in Nuuk was a perfect example of this. 
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Disko Bay
“Hey, wanna go bundle up and look for icebergs off the bow?” said Ian. The day had been a low-key passage from our last anchorage of Christianhab and we were making way for Ilulissat. I went below deck to layer up and returned no more than five minutes later to find Arctic Monkey quickly approaching ice as far as the eye could see. At the helm, Ian casually slalomed through the larger pieces. The behemoth icebergs that had been on the horizon for the last few hours finally started to grow in front of our eyes like white canyons at the base of a mountain pass. The air was crisp and smelled like freshly fallen snow. Just another July day above the Arctic Circle. We cut in between two of the bigger bergs and started to navigate into the settlement. Awestruck, I couldn’t stop starring. For the first time in my life I felt my eyes go teary, moved by the beauty. 
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Birthday Fjording in Nuuk, Greenland
We received no response from the harbor after calling on the VHF to let them know of our impending arrival. Creeping around the peninsula to the protected little marina just behind Nuuk we saw that our options for pontoon space were limited. We decided to raft up to a fishing boat that looked as if it moved only on rare occasion. The harbor was littered with garbage and old broken down looking boats that overcrowded the few available pontoons. Cranes and shipping cargo obstructed the rocky peaks in the distance. A dead seal and an old pair of Dynastars sat next to the dumpster providing a distinct smell every time you walked up to the Sjommjeht,  or what we liked to call the “Shimmy shammy” since our Greenlandic was a little rusty. 
 
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Rounding Cape Farewell
It was 6:00 am in Reykjavik harbour and sunshine was bursting as if it were midday. The engine was on, warming up before our impending departure. Down below deck we filled our coffee mugs and rubbed the sleep from our eyes. Lou looked between us adult crew members with a light hearted half smile and said "Well, should we go to Greenland today?!".
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Faroes
We managed to find a short weather window of about a day and a half in order to make it to the Faroes. We were all a little on edge heading out to sea as it seemed that every time we tried to leave we experienced what's called wind against tide. 
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Arctic Provisioning
After playing canal boat on the Caledonian it was time to make our final preparations for the arctic. Gathering three months worth of sustenance is no easy task. It felt like finals week, and we definitely hadn't been studying all semester. Planning is also synonymous with list-making, a dreaded activity for left handlers like Zetty and I. The first evening we attempted meal planning ended in us drinking cider and watching Netflix...
Somehow we managed to get everything done; Lou stocked up on replacement parts, Zetty coordinated grocery store runs and Ruth and I did our best to distract the mini monkeys with park days and museum visits. 
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The Caledonian Canal
My knowledge of canals was limited prior to this trip; not exactly the kind of skill I ever thought I'd use as an adult. So, I didn't really know what to expect when we pulled up to the first lock in Corpach. We stood out in the rain, protected by our foul weather gear, waiting for the lock keeper to let us in. Ben Nevis, the UK's tallest peak,  stood in the background, shrouded by eerie spring clouds. 
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A Tyrolean Road Trip
My mom and family friend, Eliza Yeager, were able to join me for a part of my time in Europe last month. We met in Munich and headed south for an epic road trip through Tyrol and down into central Italy. Here are a collection of photos from the first part of our trip.
 
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Arctic Monkey
A few months before heading west to Park City, I decided to make the trek from Minneapolis to home one last time. It was a sleepy, fall morning in Oconomowoc and I had driven into town for coffee. As fate would have it, I happened to run into Lou Morgan who was doing the same.
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Sweden – land of lagom
Over the past year I have been creepily stalking my friend Jenny’s social media feeds, living vicariously through her. After completing her masters, my sorority sister took off for Sweden on a whim. With complete admiration for her fearlessness I knew Ihad to get there for a visit. It was different to arrive in a more urban setting after being in the mountains for a few days, but Göteburg is a manageable and charismatic city that I never felt uncomfortable in during my stay.
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The Beginning.

When I decided to join the Arctic Monkey, I began looking at flights. I was searching all major cities in Europe when an inexpensive one way ticket to Trondheim came up. I booked the ticket and made it official, this would be the first stop on my adventure. Time flew and before I knew it I was packing my bags and saying my goodbyes in Park City.

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