Safely moored in Isafjordur
Had a lovely gentle day today moving from our remote anchorage at the top of Hesteyrifjord down to the town of Isafjordur. We actually got some sailing in, too, as the wind was blowing directly down the fjord so we put the genoa out and just had to gybe a couple of times. Slow but very scenic. There was a minor incident when Cind dropped her sailor's hat overboard but Kali moved at the speed of light and recovered it with our super boat hook. Wonder-woman, as ever.
The wind fell lighter and lighter as we continued until we were sailing with full main and genoa doing 0.5 knots while we ate our lunch. There were Puffins floating about and the mountain tops were hung with clouds so it was difficult to finally admit defeat and put the engine on for our approach to the metropolis, lured by the thought of a hot soak. As we motored across the fjord, we tidied Saxon Blue's decks so that we looked pretty "Brissol Fashion". Just as well as we had quite a reception committee.
Krystina, one of the Americans on Snow Dragon II who we met in Akureyri called us on the VHF as we got close to tell us about a floating pontoon that we could use for a while as the usual occupant is off in Jan Mayen. They could see us on the AIS so knew we were on our way. She then legged it round to the dock to help us on which was useful as it only has loops rather than normal cleats or bollards. By the time we had our lines tied up, the guy who part-owns the boat opposite was there helping and chatting. He introduced to another guy who was the customs officer who will clear us out next week. They rang the guy who owns the large Dutch-built motor-sailer that also moored up... and so it went.
In the end, Kali and I just got on with fitting our fender skirt and getting water from the harbour guys to wash down the hull. So Saxon Blue looked fine alongside a low floating pontoon for the first time since Oban. Thank goodness we washed the boot-top. It would have been just too embarrassing to be looked at by all these other boat owners if we'd been scruffy. Then another really nice guy called Elvar chatted to us. Turns out he made fried Puffin for Gordon Ramsey when he came to Iceland to film "The F Word". He's got a yacht being delivered from the USA at the moment. He's going to take Kali to his village via the mountain tunnels that she's been anxious to go through.
We finally got off to the swimming pool which was OK but not as nice as the usual Icelandic ones as it's indoors. Then to the hotel for a lovely meal and back to the boat to prepare for my departure back to the UK tomorrow morning. At least I don't have to worry about Saxon Blue as this has to be the safest berth we could hope for. John and Cind are here for a while longer yet so it'll be strange leaving them behind. It's been great having them here on this bit of the trip as I'd have been feeling bereft with Andrea otherwise. It's been a happy crew for the time we've had together. We've covered a lot of miles in remote places and had a great time. I think they'll remember the amazing places we've visited for a long time.
So there will now be another short break while I fly back to the UK for Keith's funeral on Friday, followed by a flying visit home to see my family. I'll be flying back here on Monday, arriving with Jamie and meeting Richard Haworth from High Latitudes who will be our Ice Pilot for the next part of the trip. Another chapter. Should be a good one.
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