Beating into an Arctic Blast

Position N68,54.7 x W013,08.8.
Now the wind has moderated and the genoa is up but it is tough making any progress to the west. The last two or three days have had us beating into icy cold winds and a lumpy sea with double reefs and yankee. The lee rail has been under and waves have been sweeping the decks most of the time. Sumara headed west as long as she could to avoid the stronger winds to the south. Thembi was under storm jib and triple reef having caught the more powerful winds to the south. Thembi’s last position (1800 last night) was N68.29 x W10.58. Our plans have changed slightly as we haven’t made much progress towards the Greenland coast. John is running out of time for his flight so Sumara will call in at Isafjordur to drop him off. Thembi have also run a long way south so they may call in a Husavik and then possibily Isafjordur. Sarah may well be there having returned from Jan Mayen on the yacht Aurora. There is a boat festival in Husavik this weekend. It is very
tempting but it would blow out our chances of getting to Greenland which is
still Sumaras priority.
We have been living well despite the very cold conditions. Charlotte knocked up a great curry last night and we have even been having hot lunches. Charlotte always moans that she is a useless cook but everything I’ve eaten has been really yummy. I’ve discovered that my Icebreaker socks were making my feet cold. For some reason they don’t make them big enough. As soon as I took them off my feet were as warm as toast. I wear Kari’s felted
Norwegian slippers down below and have been known to sleep in them. The best boot socks so far were a present from Sarah, they were MOD issue Arctic Grade socks and were loose and thick and soft. You definitely need different socks onboard to on land.
We have all been wearing about six layers of thermals and oilies. Charlotte and John have even been wearing their Primaloft Belay jackets under their oilskins. There was talk of Primaloft underpants but lets not go there. You need the layers because a lot of the time you are just sitting still. I’ve just changed sails and the burst of activity has caused me
to boil over. Sumara has been taking on a bit more water than expected in the rough weather. We can’t work out why, maybe the cockpit sole maybe the anchor hawse pipe or forward vent. About 50 strokes per three hour watch keeps the bilge dry so we won’t sink.
The distance to Isafjordur is 286nm. It looks like the wind will die out soon so we will need to motor. I suppose we are looking at three more days. It is pleasant at sea but the lure of a hot pool and even a washing machine is a strong one.

Sent at 18.36GMT 13th July 2011

2 responses to “Beating into an Arctic Blast”

  1. I’m tracking you on ShipAis. What is the air temperature at the moment?

    Keep well everyone!


    1. Hi Alex, We have got a dodgy thermometer which needs calibrating. We have been recording 22 C which would be a record. Apparently it was 1C in Beerenberg. Take care, Alasdair

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