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Date: 19 Jul 2010 02:01:00
Title: Icebergs and photos

70:03.309N 52:19.638W Sunday night

An amazing day today doing a whole photography thing. We got up fairly promptly at 8am so we would have time to take some proper photographs of Saxon Blue amongst the icebergs and still get some miles done. The day was almost cloudless and so still that there was barely a ripple. Jamie had arranged to borrow a couple of kayaks from the guy who runs the restaurant in Rodebay so the first thing to do was take him and Richard ashore in the tender. They then carried the kayaks over the isthmus to the open sea while we motored around.

By the time we arrived, they were already paddling amongst a sea of ice. Kali and Paul set off in the tender to get some shots of them while Andrea and I stayed on Saxon Blue. They then came over to us and even cleaned our boot-top ready for the next photo session. Then it was our turn to be photographed. Andrea and I motored past loads of bergs while Kali drove the tender and Paul gave himself a sore finger from taking so many pictures. We did a berg with a cave in it, then one with a harbour inside a circle of pinnacles. This one was so big that it was creating its own wind so we could actually sail past it.

Andrea and I then set off in the tender and went into the cove inside the berg. An incredible experience. It was so still and so huge with water streaming off the sheer ice faces as they glistened in the sun. Pretty scary, really, but unforgettable.

Kali then dropped Paul off on the shore so he could get some pictures from a higher angle and show more of the sea of bergs that surrounded us. By that time, Richard and Jamie had partaken of coffee and cake from the restaurant and then Kali brought everyone back to Saxon Blue.

We had lunch as we left the photography area and headed North again towards the channel between Disko island and the mainland. Half way through lunch, we passed the most incredible berg that we've seen so far. It had a huge and delicate arch over a shallow bay inside. It was just too good to miss. Jamie drove the tender this time and I took the pictures of Saxon Blue through the arch (a bit cliched but you've got, haven't you?) and then driving past.

That was it for pictures but we've spent most of the rest of the day going through the hundreds that we ended up with and picking the best one. I've got it down to about 50 and they are superb - Paul did a really good job. I think Discovery Yachts will be pleased, too, as Saxon Blue looks immaculate. They were interested in us chartering a helicopter to get some aerial shots but the pilot was busy and the cost was too high so we decided to go for our own system. I think the results are just as good, especially as we could get higher up by just climbing an available and cheap hill.

I spent most the afternoon having a lovely chat with Paul and catching up on his life - which is considerably more interesting than most soap operas and just as unlikely. Richard and Jamie were doing a bunch of jobs on the boat and then it was time for dinner. Half way through that, Kali shouted "Whales" so it was the second interrupted meal of the day. There were a couple of fin whales out there but we never got very close. I think the only whales left alive near the Greenland coast are very wary of boats - if they weren't, they'd be on the menu at last night's restaurant. Paul had said that he wanted to see bergs and whales and then go home so our tantalising glimpse was about right as it gives him a reason to stay on.

Soon after, we reached our anchorage for the night. We're about 100 meters off a sandy beach which seems pretty unlikely in Greenland but there are bergs beached on it so we must still be in the Arctic - in fact, we're above 70 degrees North for the first time. The wind has got up a bit so we're yawing wildly but there's no fetch so I think we should be OK for a good night's sleep. The boys are watching a cheesy comedy film and I'm off to bed. More fun tomorrow.

Harvey

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