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Date: 04 Aug 2010 02:25:00
Title: We visit Santa Claus

70:34.171N 51:39.465W Tuesday night

As we went to bed last night, the wind swung round to the West and we got a bit of light chop in our anchorage at Spraglebugt. Andrea was desperate for sleep and said "we should have stayed where we were - I'll never get to sleep with all this noise". Within 1 minute, she was snoring. The wind soon died away to nothing and we both had a very restful night.

After breakfast, we went ashore to visit a tiny turf and stone house on the beach. It was built as a stage set for a TV programme about Santa Claus and I think it was supposed to be where he goes on holiday for the summer. Andrea wanted to film Janeway visiting it so we spent a fair while there. The house was very well done with sealskins on the bed, a table and chairs, a couple of stoves and oil lamps etc. There were loads of letters around left by hopeful children. We ended up having a late lunch and then getting underway.

We'd spotted a good-looking bay slightly to the East of Umanak on a small island but couldn't see it mentioned in the pilot books. As it was near an abandoned settlement, we thought we'd give it a look. It only took a few hours to motor over to it past a series of lovely icebergs. As we came in, the bay looked good so we did a quick survey and found it to be 15 meters deep right up to the edge. Perfect. We dropped the anchor and can sit here swinging in the breeze without having to bother with lines ashore.

It was still early for dinner so Magnus fitted the replacement spinnaker pole bracket that he'd brought from the UK to replace the one that got bent crossing the Denmark Straight. After dinner, we all went ashore for an explore. The abandoned settlement was marked as just over the hills from our bay so we hiked over there. As we crested the rise, we could see a couple of tents below - maybe it wasn't as abandoned as we thought?

As we got nearer, we could see that the tents were just flogging in the wind and getting torn to shreds. It was a bit eerie and Magnus was worried that somebody had got into trouble. There was no sign of that, though, and the tents were empty so I think they are just left here by locals to use if they're out hunting. There were the ruins of turf and stone huts around by they weren't in such good condition as the ones we'd seen elsewhere. Nearby were a couple of ruined graves but, again, they were in poor condition. Magnus was looking along the beach and found a human jawbone just lying there - it had perfect teeth with no decay.

We carried on looking around but it didn't feel as peaceful as the other places we'd visited. We still had to get back over to the bay where Saxon Blue was waiting so we set off and got back aboard at 11pm and are now having a lovely hot chocolate before bed. Another full day!

Harvey

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