Thursday, 4 September 2008

K: Southern Greenland

This seems to be one of those places that doesn't want to let you go! I know it's only been a few days, but it feels like it's taking forever get past Kap Farval and out into the Atlantic Ocean proper.

Amazing fairy tale coastline on our left with spires and twisted jaggedy bits that keep appearing and disappearing in the misty murk. Still a few good sized icebergs dotting the seascape. Big ones down here, but not quite so many as further north, which is lucky as they're not much fun in the dark nights we've been having!

Yesterday I saw a group (family?) of seals swimming past us to the north. Must have been about 12-15 animals in the group, swimming in semi-unison with all the grace and style of a bunch of 10-year old's learning butterfly. The seals on the outside were looking towards the centre of the pack every time they surfaced, as if to check that their mates were still there and still going in the right direction. Nowhere near as graceful as dolphins - a lot more splashing going on.

The Aurora was out last night too! I've got the 1100-0100 night watch, just after sunset, and the 0500-0700 watch, which is just pre-dawn. Both are usually hazy and the aurora hasn't started up yet or has already disappeared. So I've been asking the other two to wake me up if they see a good aurora, and last night I was called out of my comfy bunk at 0215 to see the beautiful soft white swirls of light dancing lazily across the sky. Wow. Not like I remember the southern lights being at all (but that was many years and many beers ago now, so brain-cells possibly partially faulty).

Anyway, the GRIB files say we're in for a real downwind doozy in a day or so's time. 40 odd kts expected. Hopefully we'll be south enough to be out of the worst of the bergs and there won't be any whales for Corrie to hit this time! Currently motor sailing into light headwinds, so trying to get as much rest as possible and get everything sorted out and battened down before Huey gives us a walloping. Here goes again...


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