Arctic Circle to Kangaamiut

Sat 16 Aug 2008 10:21
Our final day and white watch have finally managed to kick everyone else off the computer to bring you one of our final blog's as a crew. With leg two crew in bound to Greenland we are enjoying our last 24 hours on Adventure. Having successfully navigated our way up to the Arctic circle yesterday, we then spent an hour bobbing around, taking in the scenery and white watch doing a spot of fishing up on deck. Unfortunately we weren't successful as the depth of water was about 200m which would have been a mean feat to reel a fish in had we have caught one on the bottom.

We started to head back down to Kangaamiut yesterday evening and we were treated to the skies clearing for us leaving a beautiful sunset (below, Andy of Red Watch enjoying the view) and a nice consistent breeze of 20 knots of wind making it a comfortable sail back in. The moon also came out in full force and resembled another sun making it beautifully clear even at midnight.


By around 0100 when we came on shift we were about 12miles outside of Kangaamiut harbour and we were ready to drop the main and sail under the foresail all the way in. With the consistent wind we were still traveling at 6 knots an hour purely under the foresail. With the main dropped we were ready to get the anchor out which we did after bobbing around again to kill a bit of time so that we didn't arrive in the harbour in the dark. More fishing and again no fish! I think we'll have to stick the rod over the side now were here in the harbour! It's very disappointing considering all the hype about big cod and Atlantic salmon in this neck of the woods!

We finished our watch at 4am and handed over to blue watch who brought us in to Kangaamiut harbour, under the watchful eye of Richard and Windy, for 6am. It must have been a good anchor drop as none of us in my cabin stirred throughout our few hours sleep!

So we are here and we have arrived at our final destination and when I woke up this morning at 7am and made my way up on deck I was greeted with an absolutely stunning sight of the harbour which is beautifully quaint with lovely different coloured houses. The weather has also cleared for us leaving blue skies, although its still fairly cold its a good deal warmer than it was 20 miles off the coast. The only anomaly though is the amount of mosquito's and midges that are here – they are literally swarming the boat. I have been reliably informed by Windy that mosquitoes lay their eggs on fresh and not salt water so I am a bit bemused as to why there are so many.

Although they seem to be proving a problem for a couple of us, our resident Scottish clan on board are finding the midges home from home and have come up with some weird and wonderful prevention mechanisms – including Linda's Avon Skin So Soft Replenishing Dry Oil Body Spray?! - which actually seems to work.

We have spent the morning doing various jobs to get the yacht back up to the clean, organised and tidy state that we received it in. Andy's watch have been cleaning out the galley, Rachel's watch have been cleaning on deck, folding sails and clearing out the fore peak as well as cleaning the heads. Anne's watch, after catching up on their well needed beauty sleep have been cleaning out the bilges.

Adventure now resembles something of a Chinese laundry as we let all our wet kit hang up and dry. We are now having a last tidy up before we receive important visitors and the new crew. A run ashore is the order of the afternoon for hot showers and also to see what Kangaamiut has to offer. We are currently eagerly anticipating Richard's return to find out what the local amenities are. Advanced warning from some of the BT guys we met in Manitsoq is that the local toilets resemble long drops with plastic bags in them so I can't begin to imagine what the showers are like. No doubt the next bloggers will let you know!

Adding to what Rachel has to say from Blue watch. This will be our final blog as we will be handing the boat over to our new crew tomorrow. As advised, we helmed the boat into Kaangamuit harbour after coming down from the Arctic Circle. This has been the furthest North any of us has been sailing - being there and looking over to the mountains of Greenland was quite surreal and very atmospheric. Tacking down to Kangaamiut the sunset was superb and the best of the trip, which could not have been timed better as it was our last night at sea and we were privileged to view it. It was a fitting way to wind up our last night in open sea. We are now safely anchored off in the harbour and will be going ashore for a local festival before starting to travel home on Sunday. This has in all aspects been a fantastic trip with many highlights. We are traveling back to Maniitsoq by fast boat tomorrow before flying home ,so hopefully the sunny weather will continue and we will get some nice scenery and views of the fjords on the way down.

Blue Watch

Red Watch for once bringing up the rear with the blogging, with most of the days events already related by our colleagues. Byrne, normally our champion blogger got bogged down this afternoon with sorting out the photos already stored on the laptops, along with the latest ones from all the crew's cameras, before copying them onto CDs and memory sticks. (He has managed to find time between disc copies to add some photos to our post.) We did take a break in the afternoon, belatedly taking our 'mother watch' showers, before heading ashore for a look around. As you can see from the photos above, the village is located on steep slopes, with long flights of wooden steps leading up to the houses. Andy observed that the steps were too close to each other, and claimed to be tackling 2 at a time, not bad for the senior member of the crew.

Wandering around the village we saw some sights which were extremely strange to us, but no doubt commonplace here, such as the dismembered parts of a musk ox lying under a tarpaulin, outside a house, which we surmised might be part of the food for the festival which we are to attend tomorrow. This followed on from earlier seeing seal carcasses floating alongside a small boat next to the yacht. Quite an unpleasant sight for some, but it has to be appreciated that this is how the people here sustain themselves, with kills being shared amongst many of the villagers, and nothing going to waste. Another reported unusual sight was guns and ammunition displayed alongside the bread in the small local supermarket.

After visiting the BT mast (below), we carried onto the sports centre to visit the leg 2 crew who are billeted there tonight along with the second leg mountaineers and kayakers. We had a good old chat with them, discussing our experiences and blogs, while they chipped in with accounts of their trip out from the UK, including the flight over the Greenland ice sheet, and the trip in the boat up from Maniitsoq, hugging the coastline and passing the spectacular views up the fjords.

As we sign off, some of the crew have gone ashore to visit with the leg 2 crew, while the rest of us chill out on deck, and enjoy the late evening sunshine at the end of a beautiful sunny, but chilly day.

Above, a view of the village from near the BT mast. If you look carefully you can see Adventure anchored up. Below, one of the magnificent views with which we were blessed.

Thanks to everyone for following our blogs. We hope you have enjoyed reading them. Perhaps you might even consider doing a spot of sailing too? We're sure the 2nd leg crew will have a fantastic time and wish them fair sailing.

The Crew


PS - after 3 weeks Windy is sorting his bunk out and has found the missing yeast, tins and flour!  What a laugh ... perhaps the yeast helped him rise in the mornings, but it certainly was not available for bread making.... Cheers Windy, you have made our day!