Mon 11 Aug 2008 01:49
There is always lots to do. Latest problem is the electrics that turn 24 V DC into more useful 240 V AC for electrical appliances. One of the watches was a man down today with a bout of diarrhoea. I dosed him and sent him to bed but then had to cover his watch. Having kept him well away from the food preparation areas and other people I hope I have minimised the risk of cross infection (as far as one can on a yacht at sea).
Many more ice bergs today - I have lost count. Huge ones the size of houses on the surface (and much bigger below the surface) and tiny bits of bergs too, with some amazing shapes and colours. We spot them by eye, using a weapon night sight or by use of radar, all depending on the circumstances. If seated in the saloon quietly I can hear small blocks of bergs scrap and bump along the yacht like a chain being pulled along the deck. Eerie! The ice has certainly concentrated the crew's minds!
The cold Arctic air is the other matter of interest. It is really cold with the wind chill. The sea temperature is 3 degrees, the sea slushy on the surface in places. In fact the water maker struggles to suck water through the 5 micron filter as it is too thick. We are all wearing multiple layers of clothing and hats and gloves. We are in a high pressure area so we are not subject to frontal depressions at the moment with their associated wet weather. But the spray is icy and slushy and not at all pleasant when it hits you in the face whilst helming. The really good news is that we have not yet come across the feared dense fogs in ice berg territory! That is a relief.
Adventure is subject to a Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) requirement to report our position every 6 hours until we reach our destination. These reports are sent over INMARSAT-C at 0000, 0600, 1200 and 1800 hrs GMT. Although making one more thing to remember, it is heartening to know that our progress is being tracked. In fact on 2 occasions I have received a message asking me to send an overdue position report. They must have crossed in the airwaves but it is nice to know we are being tracked.
We have 225 miles to go as the crow flies until we reach our refuel port - MANIITSOQ. But this remains a beat to windward so the distance through the water is much more. Oh and "port" is perhaps a grand title - the place has 2700 inhabitants I believe. But then when you consider the population of Greenland is a little over the size of a large town in UK this is a relatively large place I guess. The intention after that is to head north again for another day or 2 and end up in the Fjord where the mountaineers and kayakers are and where the Leg 2 crew are due to board the yacht. We will see!