A Unique Life at Sea
About the Book
It was a hot fine day in the middle of November 2003 in the very upper part of the mighty Amazon River in Iquitos Peru where I ended up living for 15 years, when I started to write on this autobiography, realizing that my life at sea had been extremely special in every aspect ever since I started at sea 1963 as a barely 16-year young teenager facing some weird events that would shape me for the rest of my future life at sea, and I was longing to see the real world before I die. Though I was not a writer the idea of writing this book emerged in a moment of great sadness in February 2002 In Antarctica when I started to think about how it could be, that I was commanding the 2398-ton The World’s First Expedition Cruise Ship MS Explorer [Lindblad Explorer] the “Ship in The Wilderness” and my destination was the Prince Gustav Sound in the Weddell Sea east of the Antarctic Peninsula in the Antarctic wilderness, when one of my passengers standing behind my back suddenly said: “This is really going to make the boys back at the golf club jealous”. To write about my own experiences feels kind of strange and from the start I knew that I was incapable of producing a strict biography of all the stunning account of adventures I have had and discoveries we made in those years onboard the Lindblad Explorer in the early 70´s as well as on the Explorer.
About the Author
Captain Skog has been a professional seaman since 1963 and has sailed innumerable times to the most remote corners of the globe. Born in Finland, he has lived in Sweden most of his life; yet he is truly an international man, fluent in English, Spanish, German and, of course, Swedish. A graduate of the nautical Academy in Malmo, Sweden, he first went to sea as a deckboy while still a young teenager. In 1974 he discovered the thrill of expedition cruising when he began working on Lindblad Explorer, the ship that invented expedition cruising. He worked first as a second officer and later as chief officer.
While sailing on Explorer, Captain Skog became well acquainted with the polar regions and ice navigation. His first Antarctic experience dates back to 1974 when he sailed during the austral summer expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula. In the following five years, these extraordinary voyages, full of surprises from a navigational point of view, became an overwhelming favorite. To date, he has a lot more than 100 Antarctic ice voyages to his credit and is widely recognized as one of the most skilful ice pilots in the business.
His Arctic experience started in 1974 when he sailed to Baffin Bay, cruising the Canadian Arctic, Pond Inlet, Lancaster Sound, and Resolute Island. The voyage continued close to the magnetic North Pole and the upper part of Greenland’s west coast, south of Thule Base. He has also sailed the southern and eastern coasts of Greenland as far north as the ice permitted, turning back near Latitude 74 degrees. He has taken several voyages to the Svalbaard Archipelago, circumnavigating quite a few times the west island of Spitsbergen and sailing through Hinlopen Strait to the solid Arctic ice at Latitude 81 degrees north.
Each summer in the 1970s between his Antarctic voyages, Captain Skog returned to the Arctic. In the summers of 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, he visited the Norwegian Arctic. In the middle of the 1970s as a Chief Officer, Captain Skog became part of a team introducing new corners of the world to intrepid travelers in Micronesia, Indonesia, and the entire South Pacific.
In 1991, aboard the Frontier Spirit (now the Bremen), the Captain sailed to Point Barrow, Alaska, to begin a transit through the fabled Northwest Passage. Unfortunately, impenetrable pack ice prevented the transit, and the ship turned back at Hershel Island. Despite cruising to the Arctic, British Isles, Europe, South Pacific, the inshore waters of Alaska, throughout the remote islands of the South Atlantic Ocean, as well as the length of the Amazon River to Iquitos, Peru, Captain Skog feels most at home in the ice of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Captain Skog sailed onboard the MS Andrea as an Ice-Master 2003/04 to the Antarctic Peninsula and the same year he contributed to the success of the MS The Worlds first Antarctica voyage. In the summer of 2004 Captain Skog sailed onboard the Spirit of Oceanus (Ex Renaissance 5) as Master again in Alaska and the Bering Sea area which this time included the Russian Far East. In the summer of 2005 Captain Skog sailed on Australia’s first expedition cruise ship the Orion to the Kimberly coast and East Timor as the first cruise ship in decades in these waters and shortly after that he sailed on the Corinthian II In the Mediterranean Sea and Antarctica season 2005/06. In 1997, as Master of Abercrombie & Kent’s Explorer, he became the first person to pilot a cruise ship through an unnamed passage in Antarctica. On April 16, 2002, the Captain was honored by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which named this passage in his honor. The award was in recognition of his experience in the Antarctic and for his contribution to soundings of poorly charted areas to ensure the safety of landings and to enhance British admiralty charts.
In 2006 – 2007 Captain Skog was the Master of Chiles first own Expedition cruise ship the Antarctic Dream (Ex.Piloto Pardo) cruising in Antarctica, Patagonia and the Chilean Coast for nine month. In November 2006 Captain Skog became a member of the Explorer’s Club in New York. Captain Skog has become a symbol of mankind’s compelling desire to know, feel, and understand what lies beyond the next horizon. He exhibits an intellectual passion for expedition cruising that permits the human mind to go from Arctic to Antarctic waters and to all points between.