Icelandic Sea Explorer Docked by Virus in Ingå, Finland

FinnishNews has always been interested in writing about entrepreneurship, and in the following article one can only be impressed with people who strive to do some of the most challenging business activities you can imagine.

Sigurdur Jonsson had a thriving business running two steel yachts, Arktika and Aurora, from Iceland from whence they travelled around Iceland to Greenland and to the other islands in the icey northern hemisphere. 

This was his life that was built up from a very early beginning in the small town of Ísafjörður (population 3000) in Iceland where he was born and brought up.

Sigurdur, or “Siggi” as he is known to friends, has been immersed in the mountains and oceans around Ísafjörður all his life. He is a Naval Architect and Ocean Yachtmaster and has been skippering Aurora since 2006 and Arktika since 2016 – take look at this:

His work and play has taken him all over the world – from skiing in Canada and climbing in the Alps, to kayaking in Greenland and sailing in Antarctica. His passion for the lands and cultures of the Arctic and North Atlantic is second only to his enthusiasm about sharing them with new friends.

Siggi had invested years of hard work in his yacht business – 2019 was a good year and 2020 was expected to be a great year. He had a full order book, but then the virus struck without any notice in February 2020. He had taken many advance deposits for the planned voyages from customers and invested the money in the maintenance and preparation of the yachts for the coming season’s voyages.

Naturally, he was liable to return the deposit when all of the voyages were cancelled, so he decided to take a radical approach and sell one of the boats to his former colleagues in the company to repay his debts, and keep one of the sailing ships, the Arktika, which he decided to bring to Finland so he could join his Finnish wife, Annukka, and family in Ingå (Inkoo in Finnish). 

It was no easy matter to make such a heart-wrenching decision, to leave his country of origin, the business he had built up over the years, and his colleagues.

When your correspondent met him he was living in a rented apartment of a wonderful old manor house near Ingå together with his family, with one more baby on the way within the next few weeks.

The grand steel yacht is moored just off the coast in Ingå and waiting impatiently for a new coat of paint and a new business plan. 

The yacht has five compact berths, with hot and cold water, WC’s, showers, washing machine, a roomy sailors’ mess and dining room down deep stairways in the solid steel structure. The sails and the masts are huge heavy things – nothing about the boat is small. It’s solid and built to sail safely in the high seas in calm and stormy waters.

Readers will have to wait a few more weeks to discover Siggi’s new business plan, but you can be quite sure when looking at his website (here is the link) that it will be a real adventure in uncharted waters. If you can make a successful business by sailing voyages through ice-cold waters with huge icebergs, mountains and dangerous cliffs hanging over you, in weather that is often more stormy than fine, then finding a new business plan should not be too difficult to attract interested explorers.

Siggi described the new business plan in the following way, “It will very much be one done up by both Annukka, my wife, and myself.  She is very much of a sailor and explorer and has done multiple seasons in Iceland, Greenland and on a large sailing ship in Antarctica.  I’ve said that the new plan will be much less about the „bearded explorer“ but more about the „girl power“ where I will be managed by the girls in my life – we are expecting another girl in a couple of weeks!”

As they have both said many times, “There are so many unexplored wonderful places to visit on this earth”.

Photos: Tuire Niemi & Sigurdur Jonsson

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