We arrived in Sisimiut yesterday afternoon after leaving our snug anchorage outside Upernavik on Wednesday evening. The passage consisted of the usual fare of no wind at all, or a blast on the nose, at night of course. Time has moved on and we have moved south and for the first time in weeks we are experiencing some real dark hours. The icebergs seem largely to have disappeared which is a blessing, as spotting the smaller bits of ice in the dark would be well nigh impossible. The best news is that the autopilot seems to be behaving itself again. This is very likely because we are further south and the magnetic variation has dropped from about 56 degrees in Dundas Harbour degrees to nearer 40 degrees in Sisimiut. Also, we are sailing in a North/South direction, which is apparently easier for the compass to cope with than an East/West direction.
We also had a little tragedy to cope with. When about 20 miles out, in the middle of the high winds and sheeting rain, we were surprised by the arrival on board of a tiny, sparrow like bird. It hopped down into the cockpit and took shelter under the table and we hoped to be able to deliver it safely to Sisimiut. This was sadly not to be as it expired before we could arrive, obviously completely exhausted by its ordeal.
We unfortunately saw very little of Upernavik, as mooring in the harbour was completely impossible. We returned on Wednesday to pick up the laundry we had left at the hospital, to find the swell worse than ever, and all the possible places to moor already occupied. I managed to get ashore, while John and Max motored the boat around the harbour. To get back on board, I had to beg a lift in a rib belonging to the large Dutch three masted yacht called “Rembrandt Van Rijn” moored on the jetty. It was by now sheeting with rain, so we abandoned our plan to drift southwards through the inner channels and went back to our anchorage to wait for the rain to ease before setting off out to sea later that evening.
Sisimiut, Greenland’s second largest town, still just in the Arctic Circle, is a very pleasant place and we are looking forward to spending the day here. There is a splendid Seamen’s Home with wifi (none available at all in Upernavik, John was finally offered very slow wifi at the home of the ex chief of police). I’ve put some pictures together of our time over in Lancaster Sound – the first pictures I’ve been able to post for weeks – so hope you enjoy.