Cod and northern lights

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Sun 31 Aug 2014 14:55
60:09N 53:48W
I thought it was about time to post another blog. Somehow, now we are basically delivering the boat
to her winter quarters, there doesn’t seem to be the same imperative to share information and
experiences as when on a full on expedition.
We had a pleasant week day sailing (motoring mostly) down the coast of Greenland. We stopped at
a couple of towns, Sisimiut and Maniitsoq, and two fabulous anchorages. As we were ‘on passage’
we didn’t launch the dinghy and go ashore, but it has been a good recce for our return.
We have at last found the time to fish, and what a result. Armed with rig suggested by son-in-law
Theo, a keen sea fisherman, we simply had to place the boat on the 40 meter contour, cut the
engine, drop the line, and bang, two cod, every time. As we were only fishing for the pot, two was
quite enough per attempt and the whole exercise took about 15 minutes, tops. Fresh cod for supper
– you can’t beat it.
We set off from Maniitsoq just over two days ago for Lewisporte, Newfoundland. We know of at
least one other boat there that is intending to overwinter there. We are sailing due South, almost down
the middle of the Davis Strait, avoiding the icebergs that drift down the Labrador Coast. Our latitude
now is just South of the northern tip of the Shetlands and we are getting about nine and a half hours
darkness. Trying to spot icebergs in the pitch dark would not be fun.
Two nights ago however, we were blessed with a clear sky and saw stars for the first time in months,
with the Great Bear directly over us. What we were not expecting was the most dazzling display of
the Northern Lights. They seemed to fill half the sky, great sheets of flickering, swirling green
luminescence. It lasted for several hours and was quite breath-taking.
The weather forecast for the passage is good, although things can always change. We may hit
headwinds on our approach to Lewisporte, but keeping our fingers crossed that this will change by
the time we get there. Only 650 miles to go!