Steady Progress

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 5 Aug 2008 17:49
I think this went missing:
Date: 5 August 08
Noon Position: 67 07.4 N 055 14.5 W
Course: South Speed: 5 knots
Wind: North northwest, moderate breeze
Weather: sunshine with patches of fog
Daily run: 84 miles

The wind has continued light and steady, this morning slowly freshening to a
moderate 12 knots or so which has us running before, wing on wing, at a
comfortable 5 knot. Patches of fog have kept me on my toes, I am grateful
what fog there has been has been only of short duration, allowing me to at
least get snatches of sleep when it has been reasonably clear. Even so, at
3 this morning we were once more in fog, the weariness factor high and the
wind was low led me to drop sails and drift for an hour and a half to get a
little uninterrupted sleep.
A number of seals have been passing me close by, in small herds, their
snouts pointing skyward as they swim purposefully on their way, wherever
that may be. I haven't seen them in such numbers until now. Previously I
have seen them singly in near flat calm conditions, poking their heads out
for a look around, a breathe and then they disappear. This behavior is no
doubt a response to their main predator, us. In the flat calms you can see
them a long way off, no doubt making them fairly easy target to a good shot.
In fact my introduction to Greenland was a seal hunter, back before my
arrival in Nuuk. Methods understandably have changed over the years, from
kayaks and bows and arrows to runabouts and rifles. With the wind ands
waves now camouflaging their presence they presumably feel safer traveling
along the surface, just like submariner's tactics. The hunter's rewards
are a little gruesome, one boat I saw on leaving Sisimiut had three seals on
board, their bloodied heads draped over the gunwale.
The old kayaks are very interesting to see, they are still around the
various villages stored in racks. They are very compact and one thing that
struck me about them was that most westerners would not have been able to
sit in one, they are very shallow, such that you would have to have your
legs straight as a board out before you with your back at near right angles
to them. Presumably youngsters are trained to sit in them form an early age
so as to develop a suitable posture for their use. In the Nuuk museum there
were a number of children's kayaks on display but I haven't seen any out in
the open racks, nor have I seen any in use. I presume locals continue to
make them to keep old skills alive rather than for any practical purpose,
and they are clearly made of more modern materials, ply and canvas, rather
than driftwood and skins. I suspect they are considerably heavier then the
traditional version.
The winds are favorable for our return thus far, light winds are forecast
for tomorrow, if so I shall probably use it to drift and rest. Then on
Thursday we should have stronger winds, about 15 to 20 knots from the north,
excellent! Their location suggests we will be making a direct run for
Newfoundland as there are only light and contrary winds in the west of Davis

Bob Cat:

And another thing, the food has not improved one bit. I have continuously
confronted the management on this issue but nothing changes. The skipper
seems unable to comprehend even my most desperate entreaties, he just growls
at me. Oh woe is I! Gotta go, there is some sun on the patio.

All is well (apart from the food).