Thursday 9th October 2014 There are still some places left for my little talk about sailing to Jan Mayen in a 26 ft Vertue and climbing Beerenberg - the most northerly volcano in the world. It is on this Thursday 9th October and starts at 1845 lasting a bit over one hour. Ideally email email@example.com to book your place but I expect there will be space on the night. The talk is free of charge. Arthur Beale’s Yacht Chandler, 194 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JP www.arthurbeale.co.uk
Archive for the ‘The Jan Mayen Expedition’ Category
It looks like Jan Mayen has been hit by a very large 6.6 magnitude earthquake but no damage has been reported. I wonder if that makes Beerenberg closer to errupting (although Gudrun assures me Katla in Iceland is the next to blow – and it could be soon!).
Apparently is was very big, bigger than any they had experienced before but not enough to trigger a tsunami. The previous largest quake was in 2008 at 6.2 magnitude which was regarded as Norway’s biggest quake.
Beerenberg last errupted in 1985 on the north slope but with little lava. A large erruption happened in 1970 with lava flowing for three weeks and creating 4 sq km of new land. Any new erruption is likely to be a flank erruption on the north or north east side. An erruption from the central crater would be the worst case scenario and would cause a tremendous explosion and catastrophic consequences for everyone on the island.
This recent quake was still a fair way from the island in an area that is frequently hit by quakes.
Position Dunstaffnage Marina
Gudrun and I decided to spend Monday in Tobermory and to get up very early Tuesday morning to sail the final leg down the Sound of Mull to Dunstaffnage. I had looked roughly at the weather on a grib file and it didn’t seem too bad. The weather on the harbour office television screen was suggesting winds of just 4mph so it actually looked as if there may not be enough wind. We got up at 0300 in the dark and it was quite windy, and a head wind too. We let go the mooring with the sails ready to hoist in case the gearbox didn’t play fair. And it didn’t play fair, but then it eventually gripped and we were able to motor through the moorings. It is definitely on its last legs after my stupid mistake. About an hour into the trip a VHF weather forecast came through with a strong wind warning stating that we should expect winds of around F6 to F7. That was a bit of a surprise. I suppose I should have checked the forecast first, I normally do, but it was such a nice day!
With a spring tide and a strong contrary wind the overfalls off the end of Lismore Island can get interesting. Peter Mercer had mentioned once that the journey is not over until.. well something to do with 9/10ths. I think the implication was there is still plenty of time to prang things up! Now if I was Dan, I would have just thought “It’ll be fine” but I always get a bit nervous on the first and last leg of a journey and managed to conjure up an image of a maelstrom with Sumara finally overwhelmed in a ferocious tempest just a couple of miles from her final port.
But of course we weren’t overwhelmed. Rather underwhelmed to be honest. It all seemed rather calm off the end of Lismore. We pottered up to Dunstaffnage to be greeted by Mark in the launch for a tow onto the pontoon. Friendly faces came a chatted, Annie gave Gudrun a wonderful bunch of hand picked flowers and said her son wanted to know what animals we had seen, and local fisherman thought we were crazy (and I take that as a compliment).
And that was the end of this year’s adventure.
Thank you all so much for joining in on the blog of the trip. I really hope you have enjoyed it.
I have been sailing with fantastic skilled and entertaining crew – Terry, Hannah, Alexander, Catherine, John Davidson, Torsten, Peter, Sarah, John Halsall, Charlotte, Ray and Gudrun.
The cutlery tray has now been rigorously inspected and we are missing just one Muji knife. Generally we loose one piece of cutlery about every 750mn but we have achieved a ratio of over 1 in 2000nm so I feel this is a marvellous testament to the quality of crew.
We also really enjoyed the company of Thembi and her crew – Tim, Charlotte, Dan and Stuart- who added so much to the trip. Siggi and his father on Aurora helped us to achieve our dream aim of climbing Beerenberg. Sarah and Stuart were heroes as they safeguarded our anchored yachts while we were climbing.
Hundreds of others have also helped in all sorts of ways. Engineers, sailmakers, staff at Flints, wellwishers, advisors, fellow sailors, climbers, insurers, running mates, military fitness trainers, and loads more.
And without Gerry’s help the blog wouldn’t have happened – thanks Gerry.
Before I closedown this year’s blog there are a couple of announcements.
Lost Property – various left hand soggy gloves, right foot smelly socks, damp bags, sacks, underwear, hats, books and thermals have been uncovered. A small stand will be set up at the “Classics”.
Website – There will be news, photos, videos and gear reviews posted on www.sumaraofweymouth.co.uk but it may take a while to sort out.
Diary Date – There will be a celebration event on 29th October in London. I’m not sure exactly where yet but I will email everyone on the mailing list. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be please drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Mayen Blog Closed.
Position N56,37 x W006,03 Wind: Who cares, we are snugged up in Tobermory!
….A poem as lovely as a tree”.
We arrived safely in Tobermory Harbour yesterday afternoon after a really fast down wind sail through the Sea of the Hebrides. Once we were safely tied to the visitors buoy we rowed ashore for a desperately needed 7 minute £2.00 shower (Heaven), a couple of pints (Heaven) and a curry (Heaven). It was a good feeling being on land again after a week at sea but it is sad that the big journey is nearly over now. Ray needed to get back to work as he had a production fit up on Tuesday morning. Ray began to accidently call his watches scene changes – a bad sign. He caught the bus this morning to Oban while Gudrun and I went for a walk through the trees along the cliffs to the lake. I always miss the trees when I sail north.
Early tomorrow morning we will sail on to our final stop, Dunstaffnage. It is a spring tide so it may get bumpy around the south end of Lismore Island. There is some uncertainty as to whether the gearbox will grip to get us into Dunstaffnage and with the strong tide a maybe light wind it could be interesting.