Leaving Clyde River to head South

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Fri 20 Aug 2010 01:53
70:18.840N 68:46.852W Thursday night

We wanted to fill all our tanks up with diesel this morning as we have a long way to go South and the other settlements will be even more awkward to get fuel than Clyde. There is a rocky pier sticking out from the town but it's more like a breakwater than a quay so we couldn't go alongside it and the depth is a bit unpredictable, too. It was high tide at about 1000 although it's only about 20cm higher than low tide so that was our target time. We discussed the plan last night and put it into action first thing today.

Magnus set off in the tender and put one of our wire strops around a rock on the pier. We motored in very slowly towards the end of the pier and, at 100 meters out, Kali dropped our aluminium kedge anchor over the stern. We motored forward a bit more with Andrea paying out the kedge anchor warp while Magnus took one of our floating mooring lines from the bow of Saxon Blue towards the strop and tied it on. We could now stop the engine and were held bow and stern on lines. Kali and I hauled in the forward line using the drum on top of the anchor windlass as a capstan while Andrea and Magnus paid out the kedge line at the stern. We ended up about 20 meters away from the pier with 1.9 meters of water under the keel. Perfect.

Our performance had drawn a small crowd but they soon lost interest in us as the Coast Guard ship had despatched a landing craft to the shore alongside us with the mangled remains of the downed helicopter onboard. They transferred the pieces into the buckets of the town bulldozers who then delivered it to the Mounties. While that was all going on, there was a fire at the other end of town so the fire engines were screaming around. So much for a quiet town.

We took on about 900 litres of diesel so we should have enough to get ourselves well down the coast. Once we'd finished, we took the opportunity to invite Moira, Liam and Logan onboard for a cup of tea and look around. The lads were very funny playing hide the Clanger and looking inside every hatch. Andrea asked "what's your favourite thing on the boat" and Liam replied "the Cookies". Enough said.

We dropped them back onshore and had our lunch. While we were doing that, we held a bit of a council meeting to decide how long to wait around for our Sonar transducers. Thanks to UPS incompetence, these had been held up in Customs and then despatched into the Canadian postal system which is pretty erratic in the Arctic. They were supposed to be in Clyde on Monday but we still had no news. We've got a long way to go to get out of the Arctic before we risk getting pounded by bad weather and we want to have some time to explore Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the way. We decided that we didn't want to just hang around waiting for a package that might never arrive and we wanted to make use of the calm weather to make some miles. So, we'd go and see one last time if our parcel had arrived and then arrange for it to be left with Moira who can post it down to Halifax when (if) it arrives.

Luckily, we met Sally in the Hotel who was going to receive the parcel for us and told her of the changed plans, then we gave Moira some money to pay the postage and got back onboard. We warped Saxon Blue backwards away from the dock then picked up all our lines and headed down the fjord, looking back at Clyde River and wondering at what we'd learned about this strange place. We intended to go across the fjord and look for some Narwhales but the fog closed in and we soon decided that whale hunting was pointless so we found a lovely little bay and anchored in the middle of that. As we were coming in to anchor, two local guys in one their super-charged canoes came over to see us. They had a dead seal hanging over the stern and we discussed whether there were any whales around and how quickly you have to gaff a dead seal before it sinks - apparently it depends on how fat it is but you don't get very long. They complimented us on our boat and we did the same to them - theirs looked very new and was in great condition with varnished thwarts and a shiny Yamaha on the back. They took pictures of us and we took pictures of them before waving cheerily and they zoomed off. A really great little interaction.

We've had our dinner of baked spuds and curry and we've made some preparations for tomorrow. We're going to get underway at 0300 to make best use of the daylight so we'll hopefully be South of the packice before dark tomorrow night. We're intending to keep going until the evening of the day after so we can get 300 miles or so further South in one go.


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