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A Beautiful Day in Davis Strait
Sat Jul 30 11:02:00 EDT 2011, Davis Strait

A beautiful day sailing in the Davis Strait. We sailed in and out of fog banks, which can be seen ahead of the boat in the picture.

Davis Strait was named for John Davis, the English mariner of the 1500s. Davis Strait is north of the Labrador Sea, lying between Baffin Island and Greenland. Northwest of Davis Strait is Baffin Bay.

It Often Looks Like This
Fri Jul 29 11:02:00 EDT 2011, Labrador Sea

We have been doing a lot of motoring in calm, foggy conditions. This is what we can typically see (pretty much nothing beyond 100m). The lights visible thru the window are, left to right, the VHF/AIS, radar and GPS.

Thanks for the comments. At sea, I generally do receive the comments, but can't reply in line.

As to the location of the engine oil cooler, it sits between the engine block and the engine oil filter.

As to what factors to consider when deciding where to land in Greenland, well, I'm still deciding :). I had indefinite plans of going first to Nuuk, and our course has been basically straight for Nuuk. Being the biggest city in Greenland, Nuuk is the obvious best choice for repairs and provisioning. At the moment, it looks like we will have moderate southerly winds for the next two days (we have no wind now), so, given what will be a good tailwind, and the expected boost we will have from the West Greenland Current, we may bypass Nuuk and make the first port someplace farther up the coast.


Fri Jul 29 15:40:04 EDT 2011 | yann
if you arrive north of Nuuk, the best seems to me to be Aasiat, in the south of Disko bay, before visiting Illulisat.
if you meet Rick and Karen, tell them hello for me, they will probably recognise the boat.
Its Not Always Like This
Tue Jul 26 18:02:00 EDT 2011, Labrador Sea

It's not always like this in the Labrador Sea! Clear skies, light following winds, warm (if wearing thermal underwear) temperatures--very pleasant, and good conditions for taking pictures.

Wed Jul 27 6:41:43 EDT 2011 | george ray
Map position seems to be working. My guess based on the fact that the map shows you well offshore is that your headed for Greenland . The SE tip of Greenland seems to have a nice cluster of towns and settlements. What factors do you weigh in making your itinerary?
Fri Jul 29 7:04:22 EDT 2011 | brian
You seem to be well on your way to Greenland, fair winds.
If you come across Wanderbird tell Capt Rick and Karen that Brian and Fran say hi
Wed Aug 3 8:44:33 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
If I do meet up with Wanderbird, I'll definitely tell them you said hi. I hear lots about Wanderbird, but have not yet seen her.
Away Again
Mon Jul 25 10:02:00 EDT 2011, Labrador Sea

The day after getting the engine fixed, we picked up groceries, filled the water tanks and sailed off. The wind was perfect for sailing off the dock (instead of motoring off), so we cast off the lines and set the sails and sailed off.

We sailed away from the docks then beat our way out the entrance channel, tacking (turning the boat thru the wind so the sails go to the other side) every 3-5 minutes. The current was in our favor, which was good, as the tacks were not easy to do. Tacking the yankee jib was more difficult than before because instead of dragging the sail and sheets (ropes) across the smooth surface of the aluminium extrusion of the roller furler of the staysail/trinquette, it now dragged across a wire stay, so tended to get stuck. I can't think of any port in the Labrador Sea where I'd like to try getting furler parts, so we will live with it as it is--it is an inconvenience, not a major problem.

We had a crew change in Cartwright. Ryan got off the boat and Lin, a merchant marine officer, came aboard.

The John Deere Saga
Sun Jul 24 10:02:00 EDT 2011, Cartwright, Labrador, Canada

(Long, technical)

Two weeks ago, as we sailed into Cartwright Harbor (pictured). A few hundred metres away from the dock, we started lowering sails and prepared to start the engine to motor onto the dock. The engine oil level was unexpectedly high. The oil was black, so I figured the fuel pump had leaked fuel into the crankcase, as I saw no signs of water. We started the engine and motored onto the dock.

After shutting down the motor, the oil was checked again, and now it looked like a chocolate milkshake, a sure indication that water was mixed into the oil. The oil was changed and the filter washed out with fuel. I'd bought a dozen "compatible" oil filters at the auto parts store in Rimouski a month ago and hadn't used any of them yet, so hadn't yet realized that none of thembe fit the engine. So, I needed to find the source of the water getting into the fuel and change the oil and filter enough times to clear all the water out (when water mixed with antifreeze mixes with the oil, the antifreeze prevents the oil from lubricating the bearings and it soon destroys the engine if the engine is continued to be run). No suitable oil filters were available in Cartwright.

The engine in Issuma is made by John Deere, but marinized (mostly this means adding a heat exchanger and a seawater pump so seawater cools the antifreeze/water that the engine is cooled with) by Baudouin. As Baudouin is in France, with only one dealer in Canada (in Montreal), versus John Deere being the real manufacturer of the engine and having many dealers all over the place, including Newfoundland, I figured they would be the best place to have a new oil cooler and head gasket (the two possible ways for the engine water/antifreeze to get into the oil) sent from.

I called up the John Deere dealer from the payphone in the store (no cellular service here) and ordered the parts. The John Deere dealer needed the serial number of the engine to get the correct oil cooler. Unfortunately, when Baudouin marinized the engine, they REMOVED the serial number plate from the engine, putting their own serial number plate in its place. I had a service manual for the engine, which said there were three possible oil coolers, and had pictures of each type. I emailed a copy of the relevant page of the service manual to the John Deere dealer, and he thought he could get the right one based on that.

The oil filters took six days to arrive, as the dealer thought they would be best shipped to Goose Bay by air and then transferred to something else to get to Cartwright. After a few days, everyone in Cartwright knew we were at the dock, waiting for parts, and people helped us out. Blair Gillis and Innu Mikkun airlines got the parts and put them on a charter flight that was going to Cartwright. Then I was able to change the oil and filter several times and determine that the problem was the oil cooler.

The oil cooler, which had to be sent from Ontario, arrived after several more days. Unfortunately, it was not the same type as the old one, so didn't fit. Knowing there was a machine shop in Goose Bay (a 5 hour drive), I hitchhiked to Goose Bay, got a part modified at the machine shop the next day, and hitchhiked back. Several more hours of installing the oil cooler and replacing hoses (they needed to change size to work with the new oil cooler) and the engine was running properly.

Tue Jul 26 4:26:38 EDT 2011 | george ray
Great Work!!
Tue Jul 26 11:01:33 EDT 2011 | yann
where is this oil cooler? I don't remember there was any
have a nice trip to Greenland
Tue Jul 26 11:22:15 EDT 2011 | Amos
Oh, trials and tribulations. Great job of persistance and adaptation! Off to Greenland!
Tue Jul 26 11:22:27 EDT 2011 | Amos
Oh, trials and tribulations. Great job of persistance and adaptation! Off to Greenland!
Wed Aug 3 8:45:19 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks all, it was great to finally get the motor working.
Mon Jul 18 19:56:47 EDT 2011, Cartwright, Labrador, Canada

When the inner jib stay came down, part of the roller reefing broke. While I might be able to fix the roller reefing gear, I have one more of these units aboard controlling the yankee jib (outer jib), which I'm more interested in keeping spare parts for than I am in using for this sail. This sail, the inner jib (or trinquette or fore-staysail) rarely gets reefed--it is either set fully or furled (when it gets windy, I am using the storm jib). So I decided to convert it to a hanked-on sail.

In the picture, Jordan is sewing webbing into the sail to hold shackles, which we are using as hanks (can't buy hanks here) to attach the sail to the stay. The webbing was cut from spare sail ties, and, for strength, it is both sewed and glued (with '5200' polyurethane adhesive sealant) in place.

Sun Jul 17 19:52:20 EDT 2011, Labrador Sea

We left Black Tickle on a quiet morning, motoring out of the still harbor and
away from the coast until the wind picked up enough to sail. The piece of ice in the photo was fairly close to the shore.

I'd been paying a lot of attention to the weather forecasts. Computer programs made their guesses, the National Weather Service made their guesses, Environment Canada made their guesses, and I looked at all these and made my guesses. We were all wrong :).

What was expected to be a brisk reaching wind turned into a mere slog dead to windward in F4-6 seas for a little over a day. We dodged several growlers and bergy bits in the intermittent rain and fog. The forecasts had now changed to be another day of headwinds to 30 knots. We were sailing against the south-flowing Labrador current, and progress was slow when, during a gybe, the inner jib (trinquette) refused to come across.

A quick check up forward showed the stay was no longer attached to the mast. We got the other sails down so we would be heading downwind, and then brought the stay and sail (it was a roller-reefed sail) onto the deck. It seemed that the cotter pin that holds the clevis pin that holds the stay (wire) in place had sheared off. We got the sail off and cleaned up the deck, then changed course and sailed and motorsailed towards Cartwright, which was only about 130 miles back from where we were.

As we got closer to the coast, the wind became quite favorable, the sun came out and we had a pleasant sail to within a few hundred metres of the dock. There we went to start the engine to motor onto the dock, and that began the John Deere Saga, which is the topic of another post.

Mon Jul 18 6:20:40 EDT 2011 | george ray
Glad everyone survived the excitement. Let me know if there is any rare thing you need that I can find and ship north for you.
Mon Jul 18 7:36:53 EDT 2011 | yann
Cartwright again, one year later :(
is there anything wrong between Issuma and the Labrador sea?
I hope you have left again
Mon Jul 18 15:41:32 EDT 2011 | Amos

Persevere!! Don't let some Labradorian water-witch hex get you down!! :D

Any idea how long before you return to this side of the pond?
Mon Jul 18 19:42:58 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, George, Yann and Amos.

I'm still in Cartwright, and hope to finish the engine story very soon.

Thanks very much for the offer to ship parts, shipping to here is the really difficult part of that, but thanks anyway.
Wed Jul 20 9:28:31 EDT 2011 | Amos
I look forward to hearing the Tale of the John Deere in your next Deere, John letter!
Black Tickle
Fri Jul 15 18:47:42 EDT 2011, Black Tickle, Labrador

The harbor of Black Tickle. Issuma's masts are visible to the left of the red fishing boat. A melting iceberg is in the background.

We spent a pleasant day in Black Tickle, resting, looking around, talking to people, and refilling the airtime on the satellite phone (this actually took most of the day). Black Tickle has a population of about 200 people, a crab processing plant and several fishing boats that operate out of the harbor. There are no roads to the island Black Tickle is located on...the ferry comes weekly.

From Black Tickle, we sailed north northeast.

Fri Jul 15 19:26:46 EDT 2011 | george ray
How are you treated and charged $$ when it comes to dock or bulkhead space in these rather remote ports? Is it $1.50 to $2.00 a foot a night?
.... map is working !!!
Sat Jul 16 17:42:51 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Well, people in Labrador are extremely friendly and helpful to everyone, so we are treated very well.

Most towns in Canada have public docks, where any boat that can fit can tie up (generally for free) for up to 72 hours or so. The public docks are not floating, and have no services (ie electricity/water/showers), but provide great short-term docking facilities in places that don't have enough transient traffic to justify marinas. The public docks are aimed mostly at commercial traffic, so have black rubbing strips or large tires for boats to lie against, which aren't compatible with all sailboats.

In places where there are marinas, the rate tends to be about $1.50-$2.00/foot/night (oddly enough, they charge by the linear foot, not by the metre).
Sun Jul 17 11:49:18 EDT 2011 | yann
have a nice trip to Greenland, forecast seem windy, but correct direction!
Sun Jul 17 18:28:48 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Yann. I'm about a week behind on the blog, so the strong winds aren't affecting me. Will have more posted soon.
Thu Jul 14 20:14:33 EDT 2011, near Black Tickle, Labrador

Thu Jul 14 21:11:40 EDT 2011 | george ray
Map shows you near mouth of Thames River UK
but.... when clicked on the text says=>
Thu Jul 14 20:14:33 CDT 2011
53 30'N;55 20'W:
near Black Tickle, Labrador
Whale Tail
Tue Jul 12 18:37:04 EDT 2011, near Battle Harbor, Labrador, Canada

Despite the whales still not being all that cooperative about posing for pictures, there have been a lot of them, and they are really nice to see.

Wed Jul 13 12:17:28 EDT 2011 | Amos
A sweet moment, every time. The notion of these great creatures cruising the maine byways in deep water, going about their lives intheir whaley ways, is a wonder.

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