Friday Inspiration: Erik ‘The Viking’ Aanderaa

Gadda Stack, Foula 2, Erik Aanderaa

The first time I came across Erik Aanderaa’s YouTube channel I must admit I thought it was some yahoo macho nonsense. I mean who sails solo in the North Sea in Winter? ‘The Algorithm’ at work again. Although how this was related to Sailing Zatara is beyond me.

The sailing was riveting ‘Encountering Storm Force 10’ and I quickly found myself having watched all the videos and eagerly waiting for the next one. What I came to appreciate was that Erik was slowly building up his skill set and taking slow steps towards a bigger journey. A solo circumnavigation of the Norwegian Sea.

Erik was trained as a professional mariner and currently works as an instructor at a marine safety center. He clearly understands the risks of being around the ocean and uses that experience to prepare for his offshore adventures in his Contessa 35, Tessie.

Between Jan Mayen and Iceland
by Erik Aanderaa

If you listen to interviews with Erik you will soon learn that his sailing adventures haven’t been incident free. In 2011 he ran aground just outside of his home port of Haugesund. Sailing in sub-zero conditions he became hypothermic and disoriented. He went down below to warm up forgetting how close he was to land. Tessie ended up on the rocks, sustaining damage that took six months to repair. That experience would have been enough to end sailing for some of us but Erik learned from the experience and was back out sailing as soon as Tessie was ready.

Erik’s winter sailing in the North Sea is epic but equally remarkable are the videos. He has some of the most amazing sailing footage I’ve seen – captured using a drone that he is controlling while sailing single handed! Stunning!

Erik’s epic voyage around the Norwegian Sea was completed just as the world was entering lock down. Check out the multipart series below. To learn more about Erik check out his YouTube channel and don’t miss some of his photos here.

Friday Inspiration: Albert Watson

Watson2

I was poking around on the Phase One website recently (more about that in an upcoming post) when I came across a pair of videos (here and here) of Albert Watson working with a Phase One camera system to make landscape images. I felt as though I knew the name but it wasn’t until video 2 that it dawned on me from where. Albert Watson, as I’m sure you’re well aware, is perhaps best know for his fashion and celebrity portraiture. The photograph that kicked his career into high gear was of Alfred Hitchcock holding a plucked goose and the photograph that I was most familiar with was the photograph of Steve Jobs. It was surprising then for me to see this icon of celebrity portraiture out in the wilds of Scotland taking landscape photographs and a reminder of how important it is to sustain a long a fruitful career to find the things that are out of your everyday, that energize and push you and make the time for these things.

I also found an additional documentary that features Albert Watson’s landscape work that was shown on BBC4. I must admit to scratching my head a little about that one – I can remember when there were only 3 tv channels in the UK and BBC2 was a little out there. The documentary has lots of take aways including: “Always have two assistants, that way if one falls off the mountain you have a spare” more seriously was his way of having a series of words that he uses as an intellectual framework for what he’s trying to achieve with the project. Something that we all can use right now. Check out the documentary below: