Getting Ship-shape again

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Tue 27 Jul 2010 00:06
It's been a busy day but productive for all of us. Andrea and I got off to the museum first thing this morning. The normal proprietors are away so a guy who used to work there opened it especially for us yacht-tourists. They had some interesting exhibits, especially a selection of sealskins from the different species. With all the different markings, they were very attractive and the clothing made from them looked lovely and warm. Andrea found a book about a woman exploring Greenland in the 1920s which they let her borrow until we leave tomorrow.

After that, we went to the main town shop which sells absolutely everything. There is a hardware bit, an audio-visual department and a big food hall along with a fast-food section selling the ubiquitous giant hot-dogs. Upstairs, they've got a fashion section, too. We found Kali there with 3 trollies full of food so I helped her check-out, aided by a pair of Greenland kids, brother and sister, I assume. They phoned a taxi for us and helped us load it all into the back then "helped" Andrea find what she wanted in the clothing bit. She's making a Captain Janeway outfit so I think we'll all have to call her "sir". We intended to eat our lunch in town but there was nothing on offer apart from the hot-dogs so ended up back on Saxon Blue for a sandwich.

Kali was repacking all the food on the boat and Richard was half-way through changing the engine oil. Andrea retired to our cabin with her book and I went ashore again to sort out engine oil, diesel, PTFE tape, petrol and rubbish disposal. By the time I'd sorted that little lot, I'd found all sorts of interesting and helpful locals. It's amazing that you can get just about anything practical that you need here - you just have to work out a way of asking and somebody will point you in the right direction.

Andrea and I than went ashore for a walk around the town. As we took the tender into the dock, we had to avoid running over the seals left dangling in the water from the other boats. Apparently they're left there if they're going to be fed to the dogs. The locals were all still watching a football match. It can't possibly have been the same one as yesterday but, if it isn't, where do they keep getting all these teams from? The locals were very partisan so they can't have both been Upernavik teams. The pitch itself has been blasted out of solid rock and is the second most major construction project in town after the airport. We walked up to the runway past most of the town. One house had a musk-ox head decomposing on top of the porch which made me feel homesick and I had to phone my mum and dad for a chat.

As we got to the airport, we looked down into the fjord on the other side of the island and saw Dodo's Delight heading towards town. By the time we got back to the quayside, the iceberg that's been sitting in the harbour entrance had shed a large section of itself which was now heading menacingly toward Saxon Blue. We watched as the wind took it past us then narrowly avoided pushing it into the delicate self-steering gear on the back of Reverend Bob's boat (yes, he is a real Reverend and, in fact, married Richard and his wife Polly). The mini-berg is now about 20 yards away from us in a corner of the harbour so we're hoping the wind keeps it there out of our way until after we leave.

Richard has just taken most of our toolkit over to try to fix the steering on Dodo's Delight so he's still doing jobs although I can't see him in the cockpit so he must be below helping them drink something. The ice charts from Canada are looking worse then they did a few days ago so it's unlikely that we can cross to Baffin island for a few days yet. Still, by tomorrow lunchtime we should be fully ready for sea again so we can go and tuck outselves into a quiet little anchorage and await developments.


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