Richard is a dad

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Mon 2 Aug 2010 01:25
70:40.508N 52:07.317W Sunday night

Andrea and I got up promptly as she wanted to do some filming on shore. We got Kali to drop us off and got some good footage of Andrea dressed as Janeway against the background of bergs and mountains. We then walked over to the other side of the island and got some more pictures against the different backdrop. It was a beautiful morning with sunshine on the fog so it was lovely just being out in it and taking time to look around.

Kali picked us up again in the tender and we got back to Saxon Blue to find Richard in a state of shock as he'd just found out that he was a father. His baby son was born at 2am in Dundee, about 12 days before he was supposed to arrive. Andrea was in tears when she found out all the details. It's a shame that he wasn't there for the birth and we did make great efforts to get him to a plane on time but it wasn't to be. He'll be home in a couple of days and he's so excited that I don't think he'll sleep until he arrives there.

After all that excitement, we had an amazing lunch of sushi and then got off towards Umanak (Uummannaq) to meet Magnus. The trip down was great, through magnificent fjords full of massive bergs. We saw a solitary whale off to starboard but we were too busy filming Andrea to be able to detour to see it better. As we arrived at the harbour, there was a large cruise ship anchored just outside and a cargo ship bringing in all the community's requirements (mostly beer). We waited for the cargo ship to get itself docked which gave the cruise ship passengers ample time to photograph us, then we picked out the leading line and entered the village. At the same moment, a helicopter came in above us so it was pretty hectic for a moment.

The village is perched on the end of a rock that comes out of the fjord and straight up for 1000 meters. It's so steep sided that it looks like a comic book picture of an island with three craggy summits on the top. There's a small lump on the southern tip and that's where the houses and harbour are located. It's a very small harbour and there were no spare quays so we motored around a few times and then dropped the anchor in the middle and reversed back almost as far as the breakwater where Kali secured our stern lines. At the same time, Magnus sauntered down the road, just in time to give her a hand. He'd been on the helicopter that we'd seen land so that was perfect timing.

(I just had to go outside and look at about 50 Arctic Cod who have decided to sleep under Saxon Blue. Andrea's still out there in her dressing gown looking at them.)

By the time we'd had a cup of tea, it was time for Andrea and Kali to go ashore and see if they could find us somewhere to have dinner. They found a restaurant in the hotel so we took the opportunity to give Kali a night off and went out for our evening meal for the first time in ages. The food was pretty good, surprisingly, and the hotel is interesting as it has a lot of skins decorating the walls. The Musk Ox skins are incredible with shaggy hair about 20 cms long all over. My favourite was the Reindeer, though, as the fur was so dense that it was springy to the touch like neoprene. No wonder they can survive a cold climate if they're wrapped in that.

Then it was back to Saxon Blue to continue drinking celebratory Champagne. We're going to miss Richard very much - he's been with us for a month and we've covered so many miles, seen so many amazing things and I've learned so much. I can't quite imagine it without him - although we adapted the last time he left us in Oban so I'm sure I'll cope again.


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