By Carol // Monday 1 Oct // 23:05:57 // View
Yesterday was an interesting day…we attempted to tie a nautical knot on the chart with our ship track. Having got within about 60 miles of Scoresby Sund, we came across the sea ice. The aim was to keep the ice to our starboard side and follow it until we reached its southern most extent, then track west into the Sund.
On the 4-6am watch on the 30th, I was confronted with sailing into a headwind, accompanied by freezing sleet and snow. Iceberg watch was vitally important as we were still doing 8 knots under only the jib straight through the ice field. It was bitterly cold as face, toes and fingers slowly froze. At the end of shift it was decided to take the jib down and hold station until it got light and we could spot the bergs early enough. I staggered up front with Barbara, Kathy and Gert – unfortunately the ropes had frozen and we had to battle to untie them..the jib then came down of its own accord under the weight of ice, showering us with ice and hail. Trying to furl a frozen sheet whilst balancing on a heeling ship in the dark with 2 inches of snow and ice underfoot is…um…entertaining! It really felt like the arctic wanted us out of here – what on earth possessed us to think this was a good idea! And to be honest by the end of the night watches mostof us wanted to get out!
The ice had other ideas! Weaving our way through the floating bergs during daylight, we tracked the ice front..east away from Greenland..north-east back towards Svalbard..finally north-west! Only needed a small westwards track to complete our 80 mile circle! The ice had formed a curved arm that appeared intent on ensnaring us in its grasp!
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