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Date: 09 Jul 2010 18:07:00
Title: Motoring North in flat seas

61:09.829N 049:57.954W Friday afternoon

We're still heading North up the coast of Greenland but we've seen nothing. Andrea and I went to bed as soon as we left Qaqortoq yesterday evening to be ready for our watch at 0400. We slept a bit but it was hard to get up and even harder to stay awake and concentrate for the next 4 hours. The sea was flat as regards wind-driven waves but with a bit of a swell left over from earlier in the day. The fog was constant, as it had been all night.

For a moment, we thought it would lift and the sun just managed to penetrate down to the deck but that soon passed and it was back to uniform grey. I saw a few gulls and one plastic bag float by and that was all the excitement we got for 4 hours of hard, cold looking. We were glad to get back into bed at 0800 and got some good sleep until we got up at 1200 for lunch.

It's 1430 now and still foggy but the sea has died down to almost nothing. Every few hours, we pass an iceberg a few miles away but we can't see it, just its reflection on the radar. We've had some contact with the Greenland Patrol who saw us on their AIS and are trying to get involved in tracking us - I think they just like talking to Kali. Jamie is busy fixing the electrical socket for the ice light on the bow, Andrea is doing art and Kali and I have been doing broad planning for our trip south down the American coast later in the year.

Saxon Blue is appearing at the Annapolis boat show in October so we're trying to work out how we can fit that in with Kali having a holiday and us getting far enough south to avoid the winter weather. It all seems to work out well with enough time to visit the places we want to see.

Yesterday really was amazing. The cod in the fjord were incredible. I'd love to dive down and have a look at them all swarming around. Honestly, you could feel them chomping on the hook as soon as you dropped it. I don't think you'd need bait to catch them and I'd like to try a trace of mackerel feathers and see how many you could catch in one go. I think there's so many of them and they're so hungry that they'd just eat the hook, bait or no bait. Again, it makes me wonder how rich the waters around the UK would have been before people caught all the fish. If there are this many fish in water that's not far above freezing, how many could live in our lovely warm sea?

I'd like to find out more about the people who lived at Hvalsey, too. They must have been involved in some serious trading activities to be able to afford the buildings they had. The church wasn't built by a farmer - it must have taken trained masons who can only have come over from Europe to do the job. What did they send back to Europe in return? I suppose they had furs. It can't have been worth shipping saltfish all that way. The prosperity of the place was the real surprise. It reminded me of Iona with the combination of remoteness but wealth. Sure, it's on the periphery of the society geographically but, economically, it was very much connected.

Anyway, I'm getting ready for another 4 hours of staring into grey blankness but at least I feel well so "mustn't grumble".

Harvey

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