Red watch was on duty from 20.00 to midnight during which we made our final approach (below) to Maniitsoq. Mist had descended during the preceding hours but gradually lifted as we got nearer the shore and the fantastic views of the rugged mountain scenery and the ice caps of the interior were gradually revealed to us. Most of the crew were up on deck and the excitement of our arrival in Greenland gradually mounted as our approach progressed. Linda was at the helm for most of the approach, until Richard took over to bring us alongside. At 23.00, just as the light finally faded we tied up beside the fish factory. We put the boat to bed and everyone took their first steps ashore and we took a few happy snaps. We then gathered on deck for a debrief with Richard and Windy and had a cockpit picnic under the stars.
While enjoying a few minutes relaxation we noticed a light in the distance and some debate ensued as to whether it was the sun, moon or a boat. Before long it transpired that it was another vessel, which duly came in and berthed right alongside Adventure. Their skipper came on deck and enquired as to whether we might be prepared to move – i.e he was suggesting that we were in his parking space. A brief conversation between the skippers followed (although there was a woman on board the dredger who appeared to be the one giving the orders – perhaps the skipper’s wife?) during which Richard confirmed that we would in fact not be moving at that particular time!
Next morning we were due to be up, breakfasted and ready to complete various refueling and replenishing tasks starting at 09.00. However following on from the exchange with our neighbours the night before, during which they indicated that they needed to be in the berth which we were occupying by 08.00, we were turfed out of bed early in order to move to the opposite side of the harbour, which Rachel pointed out was a much longer walk from the on shore toilets, and more importantly the showers. We then all set to work pumping diesel, changing gas, removing bags of rubbish, scrubbing the decks and generally tidying up the boat. Byrne had the exciting task of downloading photos from all the crew’s cameras and looking for video footage to pass onto media ops.
During the morning we had a visit from media ops who are staying in the local hotel. They were given briefings on the sailing part of the Midnight Sun expedition, shown around the boat after which they conducted interviews with some of the crew and did some filming. Khush was delighted to star in his very own feature film in the galley; he was filmed making tea, slightly ironic since he never does so in reality. Meanwhile, Ram showed Rob Smith from BT around the boat, while Anne and Linda attempted to recruit him into the TA, only to find to their surprise, that he’s too old. Rob was really impressed with the way the crew copes with living in such cramped conditions, and was intrigued by the ingenious ways in which we manage to stow all the equipment and food required to sustain the crew during the long weeks at sea.
After completing the various tasks, the crew dispersed into Maniitsoq (below) to have a look around the town, do some shopping and get a proper shower. Most headed for the showers at the sports centre, but Rob took pity on Anne and Linda and volunteered to let them use the shower in his hotel room, complete with nice shower gel and fluffy towels.
A visit to the local meat and fish market (below) resulted in the purchase of some smoked Arctic Salmon, and another unidentified fish with skin resembling that of a leopard (tasted like cod), which unlike most things around here was very reasonably priced. Other items for sale at this shop included musk ox, seal, caribou and many varieties of (some ugly looking but probably tasty) fish.
We prepared to put to sea again for a further 48 hrs of sailing, which will include a trip up into the Arctic Circle, before we head into Kangaamiut on Friday.
Shortly after departure Red Watch happened to be on duty and we were met with force 7 winds and sea state 5, which made hoisting sails far more challenging and exciting. We put up the main sail and immediately put in the first reef, then it was time to put up the staysail. A few minor snags along with the waves washing over the foredeck kept the adrenalin pumping, got us rather wet and made our day. Linda then took the helm and was grinning from ear to ear. After our stint on deck she came down looking like a cat that had just had the cream and explained that today was her best day yet on this expedition – she met a hot guy, had a proper shower (with fluffy towels and gel) and to top it all off she finally got some proper action on the foredeck, topped off by helming in heavy seas.
The next hiccup was the foresail that had blown loose and had started going over the railings. This had to be tied down and Byrne and Greg were awarded this task. Being in the pulpit, crashing through the waves while trying to drag the sail back inboard and tie it up is certainly exhilarating and a somewhat damp experience. Byrne took the opportunity to grab a few pics.
The Blue Watch are on mother and made a fabulous fish dish with the leopard spotted fish we bought today. It was cooked in a white wine sauce with julienne carrots, sweet corn and rice. This was followed by Eccles cakes and custard - all prepared and consumed at a 20 to 30 degrees list to starboard in a rock 'n' roll seaway!
While finishing up this blog we had a good laugh at poor Windy. He had poked his head up through the happy hatch to hand out some hot brews to the on watch (White watch) when Rachel (who was at the helm) yelled “WAVE!”. Windy (below) didn't respond with the speed of a thousand gazelles as he usually would and caught the “goffer” square on his newly washed hair and clean clothes. Everyone in the galley also ended up wet – with laughter! Windy has skulked off to bed in a huff!
Regards, the Crew