Scoresby Sund Expedition 2022
Days 48, 49, 50. 30th July 2022
Position: Still Moored Husavik, Iceland
Weather: Overcast and raining. Getting windy too. 6 degrees
Ice: Improving. Hopefully the next chart will show the settlement virtually clear of ice
We managed a good walk on Thursday to the top of Husavik Hill. Our attempt at finding a new way down failed so we climbed back up and then came back down. We quenched our thirst, plus a bit, at the Husavik Micro Brewery and collapsed into our bunks after knocking up a beef madras with brown rice.
The harbour is almost empty of voyaging boats now as North Sailing have also set off to Scoresby Sund leaving poor old Sumara all by herself. It feels a bit weird as if we have left it all too late, but Sumara can’t make progress into the strong northerlies, and we need a bigger weather window than the larger boats. We do hope to sail to Greenland next week when there is a vague promise of a high-pressure system moving in. It will be our last chance so we will take it if we possibly can. It is unlikely we will still have time to circumnavigate Milne Land but we shall see.
On Friday we tried to knock a few jobs off the list. Replacing the broken sail slides has been driving me mad. I ordered two deliveries from the UK which arrived via crew changes, and they were both the wrong sizes (my fault). Then Matteo came to the rescue and said he could post some out by “Express” Parcelforce. In their immense wisdom Parcelforce decided to change the tracking reference without telling us so the parcel basically became untrackable. I eventually decided the only remaining option was to get some made in stainless steel. Obviously, getting parts hand made in Iceland does not come cheap. While I was in the factory with a very skilled engineer just finishing the welding, I got an email to say the sail slides were ready to collect at the post office 50 m up the road! I didn’t dare tell the engineer. It was Sods Law, but at least I now have two super strong steel slides plus loads of Nylon back-ups. The afternoon was spent fitting the slides and carrying out more minor sail repairs.
We were going to treat ourselves to an hours’ worth of Eberspacher heat but the yacht’s battery voltage was too low so we put on the dinner to warm us up from the inside. We had another excellent meal of Icelandic lamb which is a speciality here. Apart from the weird dishes like rotten shark, which even the locals only eat on special occasions, there are plenty of other tasty things to eat. The day starts with a spoonful of Lysi which is the world’s best cod liver oil. I slug it down with some orange juice which is confusingly called Appelsin Juice, but the Lysi taste is actually very mild. For snacks there are various dried fish options, some more chewy than others. You can even buy Fish and Chips crisps with real fish. Chocolate covered liquorice bars are very common and slightly irresistible.
The Icelandic fish stew is a wholesome blend of fish, potatoes and cheese. Portions can be bought from the chilled cabinets at the supermarkets if you are feeling lazy. Our experiment buying a main course fish soup in a restaurant failed when we had to return the rather small portions twice because they were just luke warm. The £38.00 bill seemed pretty expensive even for Iceland. However, we have discovered some very tasty canned lobster soups and we are now experimenting by adding fish balls to the soup to turn them into full meals suitable for hungry sailors.
I think the best policy here, unless you are a millionaire, is to buy good tasty Icelandic food from the shops and cook on board or just visit any garage café and get a burger and chips. The garage cafes are generally pretty good, not too expensive and friendly too.
We will keep knocking jobs on the head while carefully studying the weather. Knocking tasks off the job list is a very positive action that makes you feel as if you are moving forward. It is good to move forward because the alternative is to move backwards. Almost worse than going backwards is just hanging around allowing time for nasty negative thoughts to creep in, like winter is approaching! Nansen called his ship Fram which is Norwegian for forward.
Talking of Norwegian, I often chant “enkel og overkommelig” when faced with potentially overwhelming tasks. It means “simple and manageable”. I just break down the big job into very small easy and manageable tasks. If the yacht is getting overwhelmed in a squall, I just say “enkel og overkommelig” for each little task:
- Get up to the mast. Easy
- Ease off the Yankee Halyard. Manageable
- Put a reef in the Yankee. Easy
- Rehoist the sail. Manageable
- Get back to the cockpit. Easy
Job jobbed. Somehow it works with me. Not sure why it is better in Norwegian though!
Hopefully I can announce a departure date on the next post.