Sumara moored in front of the fantastic new concert hall

Sarah has caught her flight back to England and Gudrun has now arrived in Iceland. Charlotte flies out on Sunday. Ray arrives on the evening of 3rd August. It’s quite complicated!
The weather doesn’t look brilliant but there does seem to be a small window of opportunity on Sunday to get around the Reykjanes headland (but now Monday may be better). My friend Jon who used to be an Icelandic fisherman came to visit on Thursday evening and we chatted about the sea area. Jon has experienced 18m high waves just off the headland in no wind – gulp. In a strong south westerly it can be really truly nasty. The south going tide is not as strong as the north going one so it is pretty important that we clear it in one hit. It is coming up to the strong spring tides too. The ideal situation seems to be to arrive at the north tip of the headland at high water with a reasonably strong north easterly or northerly wind. That should allow us to clear the 18nm run south to Reykjanes before the foul tide. It looked like Sunday morning would be a suitable time to get underway but the depression is moving west so Monday could be better. Sumara would then stop at Grindavik on the south coast which is near to the airport to pick up Ray. Thembi may try to get to the Vestmann Islands or stop with us. Thembi may even leave today but it is too late for Sumara to catch the tide. More bad weather is due so we will keep a very close watch. The south coast of Iceland is notoriously dangerous. The high mountains are fronted by long low areas of soft glacial sand which is indistinguishable from the sea and doesn’t show on radar. The tide sets heavily towards the beach. Many ships have mistaken the wet sand for sea and abandoned their ships. It is the walk across the sand to the refuge huts which normally claims the lives of the seaman. The ships rarely break up in the soft sand. It is our intention to head south away from this coast before setting our course for Scotland.
We are still hoping to visit the Vestmann Islands but if time is too tight we will at least see Surtsey. This is the new island formed in a recent volcano eruption. Only scientists (and Tillman?) are allowed to land there as they are studying the way vegetation and life get a hold on new land. If Sumara doesn’t leave on Sunday Gudrun will take us for a drive to her birth place and to see her plot of land. We Skippers are being a bit indecisive but it’s a tricky call.

3 Responses

  1. Arrived back home safe & sound enjoyed my luxury star shape sleep last night!

    Having done some online post trip digging finally found the ‘Polar Adventrues’ website. For a 12 day cruise ‘Exploring the Arctic with Yacht Polar Bear’ a mere snip at £2500 per person – and that included on day 4 “Day 4: Arrive Jan Mayen, anchor and take a Zodiac ride ashore. Day 5+6: Time to explore the volcano, wildlife and beaches of the island.” with the precursor para that reads: “Please note that we may have to make alterations to this itinerary if weather or prevailing conditions make it necessary. Jan Mayen has no safe harbour so there is always a chance that sea conditions will not allow us to land. The decision to make any changes will rest with the skipper of the vessel.”

    Charlotte – how about starting up a Caring & Sharing on the ocean wave – 10 OAPs at £2500 for 12 days makes a healthy business plan – they’d never get ashore!! (Of course Flints Hire & Supply will need to be approached as our principal sponsor.)

    Take care for your next voyage – Ming Ming had to lay off his drogue in 2009 off the SW of Iceland….:-)

    Sarah xx

    1. I thought Ming Ming lost his drogue on the way back from Iceland. Have a good time in France. Love Alasdair x

  2. Keep away from the sand seems like a good plan. Pint of beer awaits you back home, looking forward to meeting up soon
    xoxoxo

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