I was looking at the map of the Russian-proposed transsiberian-atlantic highway from London to New York, when my eye fell, as it usually does when I stare at Russia on a map for a while, on Nova Zembla.
Look what it looks like, a straight razor, forcing the ships Northward. Truly horrible to be caught there.
Colonial ships from the Netherlands sometimes tried to discover the Northern Route around Asia to "The East-Indies", rather than having to go all the way around Africa. Obviously, you were unlucky if you happened to be on one of those expeditions.
One of them came back, its sailors lived to tell the stories and put fear in the Dutch of this island named Nova Zembla.
A few years ago a film came out, the DP was an old friend of mine but the film was utterly shit. They actually had a guy in a bear-suit, playing the polar bear they had scripted as they couldn't get one from the zoo or something. Ayway, dont go to Nova Zembla. Or if you do, bring an extra pair of socks.