Svalbard

Posts from Monday 1 October, 2007

The rough, the ridiculous and the glorious

By Carol // Monday 1 Oct // 23:05:57 // View

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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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Tale of two seas

By Ben // Monday 1 Oct // 22:05:07 // 3 Comments // View

Woke up to the sweet surprise of perfectly placid seas. (And the good news that we’d escaped the Ring of Ice and were back on course.) Ended the day thrown into the harshest watch yet, a shift featuring winds strong enough to force Gert (our fearless (in a very true sense) captain; pronounced “Hurt”; more to follow someday) to clamber up the bowsprit to pull down the sails
(which, for obvious reasons, is a lot tougher to do in Force 8 winds). I’d offer more, but I want to give my Mom a break from the imagery. Thankfully mellow day turned frightfully tough.

By the way-anyone who has tried to email me for whatever reason (Jenn w/r/t SooF, Team Evolvist, etc), we don’t have any internet access, so the best way of getting in touch is to either leave a comment in this blog. (As comments are then forwarded along to us via Satellite phone from the Cape Farewell office, our only tiny keyhole into the world outside the
Noorderlicht.) Red Sox updates are keenly encouraged.

Representative quotes of the day:

“For all the hearts I’ve broken and [retracted] I’ve [retracted], I did nothing to deserve that.” –Matt, coming in from the 8-10pm watch, which featuring sustained Force 8 winds with periods of Force 9, horizontally blown icy sleety mixture, and salt-spraying waves that left faces numb and (on the plus side) nicely exfoliated.

“Your t-shirt says ‘A bad day on the boat is better than a good day in the office’.Today, I don’t know about that.” –Captain Gert, on a hellfire Monday evening.

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Frozen rigging

By Nick // Monday 1 Oct // 19:56:06 // View

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Noorderlicht (life raft)

By Shiro // Monday 1 Oct // 15:55:11 // View

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Noorderlicht (upper mess)

By Shiro // Monday 1 Oct // 15:31:04 // View

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David Route

By David // Monday 1 Oct // 14:40:03 // 1 Comment // View

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Coversation with David Buckland.
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A message from the London basecamp

By gorm // Monday 1 Oct // 09:10:27 // 10 Comments // View

This is just a quick message for everyone who has taken the time to post comments to the crew – thank you! All your messages of good luck and calm waters have reached the Noorderlicht – On Sunday 30 September, the crew were almost to the east coast of Greenland, towards the mouth of Scoresby Sund (they could see the ice! A moment of elation)!. However, as it is currently covered with some floating ice they are heading a bit further north to try and get on to terra firma (Monday 1 October), this has meant another day at sea, but the oceans are calmer (so I’m told). Ko, the expedition guide has been sharing stories of the outstanding beauty of the Fjord so everyone is hoping to get into the Sund.

Please continue to post your messages and I will make sure the sailing crew get them.

Thank you

Hannah Bird
Cape Farewell
PS you’ll all be pleased to know that the Noorderlicht is not going round in circles (as our map showed). We were having a few technical issues showing east/west longtitude which have now been resolved!

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