Monday 2nd July

Mon 2 Jul 2018 22:40

Monday 2nd July

Back to Virginia. Humour has been restored after a cold few days!

A glorious day, type 1. Sunshine during the night, and plenty of anchor alarms as we drifted an arc around the anchor, but as usual Peter was on duty so we didn’t have to get out of bed. Late up, we had some good porridge and team A went ashore on an exploration of our lovely anchorage, a splendid glacier nearby. (Peter, Mary and Kirsty) They enjoyed the magical pool at the base of the glacier where they saw several seals, and went for an exploration up the moraine and onto the glacier using micro spikes to give confidence. Meanwhile Virginia and Patrick restocked the cupboards and discussed strategies for the new crew arrival on Wednesday. Good to hear from Lorna that the parts we needed have arrived, and Daniel’s first job will be fitting the panel and new switches. Peter has offered to be his assistant. We might feed him first!! Virginia also made some rather healthy flapjacks (though accurate she wasn’t sure she liked Mary’s definition of “cooked breakfast”) and left a short list of jobs for team A on their return.

Virginia and Patrick set off immediately team A returned, taking sandwiches with them, and stopping to eat them on the glacier. Beautiful scenery and the walls of almost blue ice were impressive. Patrick spotted a few fossils including the stem of a Carboniferous tree fern - very impressed. Not so impressed though when he planted forwards into a moraine bog, unseen. The rifle didn’t like it either. Both very dirty. Back on board a cup of tea and flapjack was much appreciated and we set sail around 5pm for a nearby anchorage. The boat had dried out considerably after the warmth of the heater for a few hours, and the airing of waterproofs and cushions on deck helped too. The jobs had been very well done and cupboards clean and orderly and heads washed out too. Full marks to Mary. Kirsty prepared mushroom risotto dinner and Peter supervised.

After a cup of tea and flapjack (Peter obviously liked it as he had two pieces!) we set off for another anchorage, Borebukta, around 15 miles away. We had a very pleasant and surprisingly warm motor, sitting on deck and reading books, looking at the fabulous scenery of Bird cliffs, glaciers, and towards the end of the sail, icebergs. We stopped for supper around 9pm in borebukta, uncertain as to whether we were sheltered enough, and ready to sail another 30 miles (6 hours) to Bjonahamna to seek shelter and lack of ice. Mushroom and chestnut risotto/gloop from Kirsty (and Peter) with Mary’s home made bread to clean the bowls with!

Around 10 pm we set off, it was still relatively warm and Virginia and Mary enjoyed the first couple of hours gently motoring and with good scenery. When Patrick came up after a short sleep we put up the sails and were delighted to be able to sail on a broad reach with two reefs in 12 knots of wind. For once we were not overpowered, motoring, wet, cold or beating! The views continued to be good as midnight came and went and I’m still up here enjoying the scenery as the new day dawns. Passing Longyearbyen we are headed for a much more sheltered anchorage. The porridge is soaking and soon I’m handing over to Peter. With a bit of luck we will have arrived by the time it’s my next turn, so I should get a reasonable sleep!

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