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Date: 10 Aug 2010 01:38:00
Title: Our own anchorage

71:04.937N 51:22.233w Monday night

We had a bit of a disturbed night as the tidal stream was surprisingly strong where we were anchored and it held us stern-first into a bit of chop in the early hours. It even woke Magnus in the forward cabin and it certainly kept Andrea and I awake for a while. We had a bit of a lie-in to compensate.

We went ashore to the mine again as Andrea wanted to do some Janeway video filming and Magnus went off to explore. The geologists let me use their PC to print out an ice chart which is certainly getting better but still not good enough for us to cross to Canada. We got underway in brilliant sunshine and had our lunch pottering down the fjord. On the way, we went over to look at a glacier that comes down almost to the sea. The two lateral morraines project into the water forming a very shallow bay with symetrical arms on either side.

A little further on, there is a side fjord that we saw on our way up yesterday. It's charted as having lots of small islands but with no depth soundings. I thought it looked good for a secluded anchorage so we headed in, aiming for a small bay off to one side. With no sonar, we had to take it easy but still managed to do a survey and convince ourselves that it was safe. Andrea dropped the anchor once Kali and Magnus had got the strops set up on shore and we reversed into position. Unfortunately, the anchor kept dragging so we had to drop the mooring strops again and go around for another go. This time, the anchor held well and we finished our manoever without any other problems. It was great that Andrea spotted the anchor problem early and the whole exercise was very instructive.

Our little bay feels personal as it's not mentioned in the pilot books or marked as an anchorage on the charts. There is a heavily glaciated peninsula to our Port side and a mountain to Starboard. The mountain has the most incredible geology with twisted bands of coloured rock stretching above us. Now that we know a bit about geology, we can really tell the difference between black rock, grey rock and coloured rock just by looking at them.

Behind Saxon Blue is a vertical sided gulley through the rock that looks like some lunatic has blasted a cutting for a motorway. It doesn't look natural so was a perfect setting for some video. Andrea got Magnus to drop her ashore from the tender while I took the footage from onboard. When he went back to collect her, they did a great Buster Keaton goes Boating sketch with them trying to get the tender back into the water when it was firmly aground. The fact that they were both trying to look dignified and Magnus was wearing enormous orange boots just made it worse. Kali and I were in fits of giggles and I hope Andrea wasn't intending to use the sound as all she'll hear is us laughing.

Andrea and I then went for a lovely walk around the shore of the peninsula. The rock is so grippy that I could walk up ridiculous slopes and the views around were spectacular. We ended up just sitting, looking out over the sea at the mountains all around. I'm starting to wonder what life will be like without Greenland acting as a backdrop.

Then it was back to Saxon Blue for Mag's veggie chillie and an episode of Battlestar Galactica followed by an early night. The sun is now behind a range of mountains ahead of the boat, silhouetting a row of outrageous pinnacles wrapped around by fissured glaciers. It doesn't look remotely real but it's become normal for us.

Harvey

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