Jarle Andhøy – Wild Vikings on the Berserk Expedition
Some may remember the crazy exploits of Norwegian sailor Jarle Andhøy and his American crewmember David Mercy featured in the film Berserk. This self-produced documentary was aired in many adventure film festivals three or four years ago.
Jarle Andhøy is a young Norwegian with a thirst for adventure. At the age of 19 he sailed from his homeland in a beat-up 27’ sailboat with the goal of rounding the infamous Cape Horn at the base of South America. Many told Jarle he was crazy, the reason why he named his boat Berserk. After becoming the youngest to round the stormy waters of Cape Horn, Jarle set sights on an even more ambitious goal – a voyage to Antarctica.
The Southern Ocean is dangerous even for well-equipped large steel boats. Jarle Andhøy would be doing this trip in an ill-equipped, decrepit fiberglass sloop with no means of long-range communication.
Jarle convinced two landlubber backpackers in South America (an Argentinean and David Mercy) to join him in his Berserk voyage. The journey that followed has become a cult-status tale that has been beautifully chronicled in their self-shot documentary. Storm after storm battered the tiny ship before it finally reached the frozen continent. Here the Argentinean crew member threatened to abandon ship, choosing to perish on the ice rather than endure the Southern Ocean a second time. Fortunately a ship materialized and Jarle was able to offload his mutinous crew member.
Jarle and David Mercy continued exploring the Antarctic waters in comedic fashion – bumping into icebergs, getting stuck in the ice, and having the boat lifted skywards as a whale used it as a scratching post. One of the funniest moments in the film is when David, self-proclaimed animal charmer, attempts to snuggle with a group of giant elephant seals and ends up being bitten (albeit gently) in the head by a bull.
When the duo finally attempted to sail back to South America their vessel rolled in another storm and several portholes were smashed. The sailboat quickly filled with freezing water and was on the verge of sinking. With no means to summon outside help, the duo plugged the gaping portholes with sleeping bags and frantically bailed the sinking vessel. Amazingly Jarle continued filming through the worst of it, and all the action has been captured on film.
Eventually Berserk limped to shore, and the Antarctic Voyage was complete. Later, Berserk would sink off the coast of Chile with Jarle barely escaping in the rowboat.
Jarle Andhøy and David Mercy (along with a couple of new Norwegian crew) are now attempting a journey around the world in Jarle’s new steel boat Beserk II. (Courtesy of www.wildvikings.com)
Jarle Andhøy and David Mercy (along with a couple of new Norwegian crew) are now attempting a journey around the world in Jarle’s new steel boat Beserk II. Their route includes voyaging over the top of Russia, traversing the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as well as another visit to Antarctica. The team is currently traveling through the Northwest Passage above Canada, and they continue to embrace the Viking spirit of tenacity and fun-loving humour. Adorned with horned hats and endless enthusiasm, these self-proclaimed modern Vikings will undoubtedly continue to have fun looting, pillaging, and staking new lands for Norway.
For more information on Jarle Andhøy and David Mercy and crew please visit :