Under way for Greenland

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Wed 30 Jun 2010 20:59
65:32.820N 024:31.234W Wednesday evening

We're heading just west of south on our way to see the bird cliffs at Latrabjarg - apparently, they're the biggest in the Northern Hemisphere. We left Isafjordur this morning and we've been sailing and motoring along the coast all day.

I flew back to Iceland on Monday and met Jamie at the domestic airport in Reykjavik. It was great to see him again as it's been quite some time. It made up a bit for the sadness at leaving Andrea again, especially as I didn't know for sure when she'd be coming out to Greenland. Jamie and I caught the little Fokker up to Isafjordur on another scenic flight. Stepping out of the plane was like coming home, the smell of Iceland is so distinctive - clear, cold air with the tang of the sea in it.

We had a monster fish blowout in the oldest wooden building in Iceland which was delicious. They cook whatever kind of fish you've chosen in a skillet with potatoes and a bit of veg. The Plaice was fantastic, as was the Cod. It wasn't much after that before I was too tired to stay up so had a lovely long sleep.

We spent yesterday doing a lot of jobs on Saxon Blue. I changed the engine oil and filter, then the fuel filter and finally checked the tappets. It all took ages but was very satisfying. What with that and some shopping, the day just flew by. Jamie was busy doing all kinds of errands and getting used to the layout of the boat and how things worked, including hauling Kali up the mast for a rig check. She's very trusting! We had thought we might leave that night but there were still things to sort out this morning so we got up in time for the harbour master, the Customs guy and the diesel truck driver. That was all sorted by about 10am so we set off then.

It was certainly sad to leave Isafjordur. It's a great little town and I still had stuff I hadn't done like a good look at the museum and some walking in the hills. Still, we'll be back so I can do it then.

We motored the first bit of the fjord then the wind picked up so we could sail. We even managed to get the twin headsails up for an hour or so this afternoon which was fun, as always. I went below for a kip for an hour and the wind died so we started motoring and that's what we're still doing. The sea has a bit of swell but it's starting to get that glassy look. I don't think it'll last, though, as the barometer is falling and there is a low forecast to pass to the South of us. With a bit of luck, we can pick up the winds on the north side of the low so we'll be in Easterly or North-Easterly airflow the whole way to Greenland.

The pack ice is reported as being pretty broken already and Prinz Christian Sund is open. This sound cuts off the southern tip of Greenland (Cape Farvell) so it provides us with a sheltered short-cut through to the West coast. It's still about 600 miles away but it's a lot shorter and more comfortable than the long trip around the cape, especially as prudence dictates an offing of at least 100 miles. Andrea has booked her flights to Narsasuaq for next Monday so we'll be there at a similar time to her, I hope. It's great to have a definite date when she'll be back with us - I can't wait to have my lovely girl back onboard.

We're just approaching the most Westerly point of Europe now so I'm going to go and see if we can see some bird action.

Indeed, there are lots of birds - similar cliffs to the ones we saw the other day at Hornovik but harder to get in close as there are lots of offlying rocks. We've turned now and are heading directly for the Southern tip of Greenland and I'm off watch so I'm going to go to bed as I have to be up at 4am.

This is it - we're heading directly away from Iceland and Europe and towards Greenland and the Arctic proper. Blimey!


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