Monday, 1 September 2008

6159 48.2 04940 23.9 Paamiut Harbour

It's dark, dank and raining in lovely Paamiut. We're tied up alongside a little fishing boat - 0530 local time and I expect he'll want to leave soon. Interesting trip from Nuuk - the Examiner punished us for staying the extra day by giving us a bit of a gentle headbang and we motored all the way and got here just as the southerly was coming in. Really snug little harbour.
(Much later - not used to this hiding from the weather lark but it certainly has merit - blowing dogs off chains outside and raining.)

Scenery on the way was magnificent - we left Nuuk by the southern channel amongst the islands - all ice worn and bare, jade green water - with big, eroded craggy mountains as a backdrop and in brilliant sunshine. All the way south, Slarty at his most playful best - jagged peaks, glaciers disappearing into the distance, islands, fjords - grey, towering - huge pyroclastic swirls and striations and one massive (to us anyway) glacial ice sheet that came over the horizon between peaks at an altitude of about 300 metres (my guess) and flowed down to the sea in a huge fan that seemed to go on for ever as we sailed past but is perhaps about 10 miles across. Certainly should be visible on Google earth. Islands across its face probably marking its terminal moraine. Slarty must have left the clean up to his apprentices - rocks everywhere off the coast, some quite a long way out. And perhaps 25 big icebergs on the way - mostly out to sea and not clear where they have come from. Seals everywhere. And last night was one of those woolly fuzzy no horizon no light nights and almost impossible to see ice if it was there. Hairy! And fishing buoys - erk! But really easy to understand how the lookouts on the Titanic didn't see their berg and they were doing 20 knots to our 4.

There's a Professor Bob Headland (yesss!)at Cambridge who keeps stats on NWP transits - don't know whether he publishes them - and please don't all email him at once! - seems we are the 77th boat (mostly icebreakers and ice strengthened ships)to have made the transit and ours was the 114th complete transit. Some boats have made multiple transits, hence the discrepancy. As far as I could work out, there have been 25 sailing yachts of less than 20 metres since Amundsen and we are the third smallest, after Babouche (7.2 mt cat) and Dove 111 (8.2 mt yacht). We are the second Australian boat, after Fine Tolerance, but the first to go through in one season and without icebreaker assistance. If we make it to Falmouth, I think we will be the second boat ever to have completed a circumnavigation of the world via the NWP after David Cowper. Difficult one to establish though.

Should be here for about another day - about 1700 miles to go....with Kap Farvel and the Atlantic just around the corner. Keep them crossed - and we're all crossed up for Carla and the southern States.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: