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Icebreaker: A Voyage Far North – tekijä:…
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Icebreaker: A Voyage Far North (vuoden 2019 painos)

– tekijä: Horatio Clare (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
213844,495 (3.94)3
'We are celebrating a hundred years since independence this year- how would you like to travel on a government icebreaker?' A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic circle. Travelling with the crew of Icebreaker Otso, Horatio, whose last adventure saw him embedded on Maersk container vessels for the bestseller Down to the Sea in Ships, discovers stories of Finland, of her mariners and of ice. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality - as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard OtsoHoratio gets to know the men who make up her crew, and explores Finland's history and character. Surrounded by the extraordinary colours and conditions of a frozen sea, he also comes to understand something of the complexity and fragile beauty of ice, a near-miraculous substance which cools the planet, gives the stars their twinkle and which may hold all our futures in its crystals.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:adrianburke
Teoksen nimi:Icebreaker: A Voyage Far North
Kirjailijat:Horatio Clare (Tekijä)
Info:Vintage (2019), 224 pages
Kokoelmat:Library books borrowed
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Icebreaker: A Voyage Far North (tekijä: Horatio Clare)

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näyttää 3/3
Sometimes it is who you know, rather than what you know, that opens doors and opportunities and Clare had a friend had a contact in the Finnish Embassy. A message came via this link asking:

We are celebrating a hundred years since independence this year: how would you like to travel on a government icebreaker?

As the sea is a natural draw for Clare; his Down to the Sea in Ships travelling with the modern container ships was a quality piece of travel writing about a system that most people are blissfully unaware of, he jumped at the opportunity and booked his flight.

Most people know Finland from the Nokia 3310 phones that almost everyone used to own, the completely mad rally drivers and the not so talkative F1 star, Kimi Räikkönen. The Finnish are a fiercely independent nation celebrating 100 years of independence from Russia who have a liberated modern life. Part of their character is sisu, it is this combination of grit and determination that helped them to fight off the Soviet invasion in World War II. Their spirit has driven them politically too, they were one of the earliest countries to allow women to vote, have a first class health system and are experimenting with the universal basic income for their population.

As much as Clare is here to gain a little insight into the national character of the Finn's he is really here for the ice. During the long dark winters there, the Bay of Bothnia is frozen and the Otso, the ship he has been invited to join, assist cargo vessels getting through the sea ice to and from the port. The 99-meter long Otso is one of the most sophisticated icebreakers around. The specialist paint and stainless steel hull combined with air bubbling system, means it almost never gets stuck, it has almost 360-degree vision from the bridge and the highly trained crew can manoeuvre this powerful 9000-tonne ship to within feet of another to break them out of the ice. There are even two saunas on board for the officers and crew.

This world of ice in the Arctic Ocean may not be around forever, given how the world is warming in the far north. As with all his other books, it is full of nuanced observation and is a delight to read. He writes of smelling the sharpness of the ice, the clarity of the light as it reflects and sparkles in the weak sun and you can imagine the noise as the frozen sea succumbs to the power of the ship. If this had one fault, it was too short, but then Clare only had ten days travelling and he relishes every moment with the crew in this white world. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic circle. Travelling with the crew of Icebreaker Otso, Horatio, whose last adventure saw him embedded on Maersk container vessels for the bestseller Down to the Sea in Ships, discovers stories of Finland, of her mariners and of ice.

Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard Otso Horatio gets to know the men who make up her crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. Surrounded by the extraordinary colours and conditions of a frozen sea, he also comes to understand something of the complexity and fragile beauty of ice, a near-miraculous substance which cools the planet, gives the stars their twinkle and which may hold all our futures in its crystals. ( )
  davidroche | Mar 5, 2020 |
The Finnish embassy in London obviously got some budget allocation to promote Finnish culture in the context of the celebration of 100 years of independence in 2017, and they spent part of it sponsoring Horatio Clare to make a voyage on an icebreaker in the northern Baltic. And why wouldn't you...?

The resulting book is interesting in a similar sort of way to Down to the sea in ships, as a behind-the-scenes view of an aspect of maritime life we know exists, but which few of us are likely to have thought very much about (unless we live in the Far North). We all know that icebreakers keep shipping routes open during the winter months, but we probably don't know how that's organised, what sort of people work on those ships, how you actually break ice, and so on. And of course the topic also gives Clare plenty of chances to talk about climate change and the way that your ideas about it change when you live in a place where you can't pretend to yourself that it isn't happening.

This is a slighter book than Down to the sea in ships - Clare didn't get the chance to spend as long with the people who work on the icebreakers as he did with the crews of container ships, and he seems to find that the Finns live up to their national stereotype and aren't easy to get to know (perhaps the language barrier plays a part here as well). So we don't learn quite as much, but what we do learn is still moderately fascinating. ( )
  thorold | Aug 5, 2019 |
näyttää 3/3
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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'We are celebrating a hundred years since independence this year- how would you like to travel on a government icebreaker?' A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic circle. Travelling with the crew of Icebreaker Otso, Horatio, whose last adventure saw him embedded on Maersk container vessels for the bestseller Down to the Sea in Ships, discovers stories of Finland, of her mariners and of ice. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality - as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard OtsoHoratio gets to know the men who make up her crew, and explores Finland's history and character. Surrounded by the extraordinary colours and conditions of a frozen sea, he also comes to understand something of the complexity and fragile beauty of ice, a near-miraculous substance which cools the planet, gives the stars their twinkle and which may hold all our futures in its crystals.

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