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Although I fully accept the need for certain traffic restrictions during the Olympics,
the thing that got my back up was the sheer pleasure the authorities took in making the road closures.
Sumara set of at 0330 this morning and was followed later by Thembi. We have just heard from Thembi over the VHF and they have spotted us on the horizon. Thew wind has been fair for several hours and we have made a very pleasant run of about 40nm with air temperature of up to 20 degrees and sea at 9.2C. It is a good way to start a trip like like this while everyone settles down to the life at sea. John made a whacking great big pot of stew last night so that will be supper tonight too. We will download the weather grib in a few minutes. All is well. 492nm to the north tip of Jan Mayen.
Sent via satellite phone at 18.01 GMT on 29th June 2011 (blogged by Gerry)
As the winds are easing now we are thinking of sailing on the next tide at 2am with Thembi following the next day. We went for a fine walk out to the island point this afternoon where I asked everyone to pose for a photo looking miserable. I had completely forgotten that we had Dan with us who is incapable of being miserable so we had to take another picture with everyone being happy.
From tomorrow I will only be able to update the blog via the satelite phone to Gerry so things may go quiet for a few days. Next stop Jan Mayen!
We woke to creaking lines, howling rigging and a harbour full of white horses and decided to stay put but use the time to climb the Faroes highest hill – Slattaratindur at 882m. As we didn’t have a map we decided to seek local advice. The girl in the supermarket said there are no paths, no cairns and its raining hard so don’t go. We asked her to point to the relevant hill which she kindly did. We thanked her and set off. I always like to seek out local advice. Not knowing any better we just clambered up past a reservoir and aimed for a steep gully to get us beyond a rocky ridge. It was blowing a full gale and was cold and wet with it. We stopped about ¾ of the way up for a bite to eat and slipped on our toasty belay jackets – brilliant things, light and super warm. We set off again to get to the top when, low and behold, we stumbled on a path! So there was a path after all. The summit affords views over the whole of the Faroes but not today, just mist and clouds sweeping by.
As we had now found the path the descent was quick and easy and now we are back onboard eating the worlds biggest sausage.
Tomorrow Sumara hopes to set sail north to Jan Mayen and Thembi will probably leave Toshavn for Eidi. We have just received a message from Thembi saying they had a bit of a night with Captain Birgir Enni from the Nordlys!
John flew in last night just in time to join us all having a grand curry on Thembi. Now the crew is all assembled (apart from Charlotte who is arriving in Jan Mayen on the Icelandic boat) we will have a big meeting this evening to finalise plans. The Thembi crew are of on a bus ride around the islands today while Sumara is doing the fresh provisioning, filling with water and diesel etc. Sumara will probably head off tomorrow to catch slack water at 2015 in the narrows between the island. We need to get the timing dead right because the tide rips through at 12 knots either side of slack water! We will then moor in the little harbour of Eidi while we wait for perfect tidal conditions before heading off north to Jan Mayen. Thembi will probably follow a day later as she is a faster yacht. The ice conditions in Scoresbysund are good yet but they are improving. I have attached the latest ice chart recieved over satelite phone.
After knocking off some tasks in the morning Sarah and I thought we would treat ourselves to a good walk. We took the ferry to the island of Nolsoy just half an hour away and walked out to the lighthouse. A great walk about 2 hours each way along a path well marked with stone cairns. It was a bit boggy in places as Sarah discovered.
We had hoped to see Thembi arrive from the lighthouse but after a thorough scan of the horizon there was no sight of them. It wasn’t until we were on the ferry back when we saw them about to enter the harbour at Torshavn.
Sumara and Thembi are now moored together and we shall discuss our plans for Jan Mayen over the next few days. I was my first time on Thembi, and a very fine ship she is with coal burning stove and oddles of atmosphere. We also discovered she has 300L water tanks, hence Thembi the Tanker. Sumara has two 17L tanks plus lots of containers but a total capacity on this trip of just 134L. A max of 2L a day.
John arrives tonight. Yippee, the Faroes- Jan Mayen crew will be complete.
Captain Enni from the Nordlys has invited us all onboard for dinner tonight. We are looking forward to that treat. The night before last we had a wonderful meal with Arm (Herbert?) on Woe Wei. Quite a cook! Thanks for that.
The mast head of yachts is obviously a good place to site antennae but there is not much space. When I installed my Simrad AIS I faced the problem of where to site an extra aerial. Andy at Greenham Marine suggested using the, then new to the market, Easy Split to share the AIS with the VHF. Yesterday I bought a new car stereo radio to replace the last one which had rusted away. It too can share the same aerial. A good piece of kit.
By the way, the shopkeepers in the Faroes are wonderful. The man in the Radio Shop gave me the Ipod lead free of charge and the following day made up a special lead to connect to the Easy Split and refused to take any money for it. Brilliant service.
There aren’t many visiting yachts on the Faroes. Currently Woe Wei from Holland, a Maurice Griffiths Atlantic Clipper and James sailing Black Sheep, a Maurice Griffiths Golden Hind. So two MG’s and a Laurent Giles!
Sarah, Peter and I were press ganged into crewing the local tourist ship which takes tourists out to the sea caves for trumpet concerts. This was no hardship as it was easy work for a great experience. We just hauled the odd sail, served up coffee to the freezing passengers and threw the odd rope. Luckily Health and Safety hasn’t caught on in the Faeroes. They do count to passengers on but I’m not sure if they are counted off. The Captain calls us “You Crazy People”.