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Seamans House
Thu Aug 4 0:00:00 EDT 2011, Aasiaat, Greenland

The red building is the Seamans House, where one can arrange for showers and wifi.

Thu Aug 4 17:28:59 EDT 2011 | Timothy Hudson
Truly incredible! Congratulations on another successful leg of your epic journeys. Perhaps you can write an update to the classic Icelandic Saga's -- the Greenland Saga's. Great to see you're there!
Fri Aug 5 6:07:49 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Tim, it is very nice to be in Greenland.
Fri Aug 5 11:26:18 EDT 2011 | george ray
Welcome to Greenland
Tue Aug 2 21:30:00 EDT 2011, Aasiaat, Greenland

In the approaches to Aasiaat (formerly Egedesminde), this whale seems to be welcoming us to Greenland.

It is great to finally be in Greenland! This is my fourth attempt (in three years), to sail to Greenland. I haven't mentioned all of the attempts before on the blog because I like to focus on what has happened, not on what might have been.

In 2009, I left Argentina singlehanding. In the north of Brazil, I got dengue fever (it comes from certain mosquitoes--there is no vaccine, no cure and no immunity--you either survive it or not) which made me too weak to sail for several weeks. After recovering, it was too late to get to Greenland for the summer, so I sailed back south instead.

In 2010, I singlehanded (except for a few hundred miles) from Argentina to New York, picked up crew, and we left Labrador for Greenland. About 50 miles out, two shrouds (wires holding the mast) broke and the mainmast came out of its step and was damaged (see blog entries of last summer). We sailed back to Cartwright Labrador for repairs, and then I didn't trust the rig enough to cross the Labrador Sea with it, so we sailed up Labrador and to Baffin Island, before sailing south again.

This year, almost a month ago we left Labrador for Greenland and got farther, but again had rigging problems (followed by engine problems) which caused us to go to Cartwright, Labrador for repairs.

We arrived late last night, and promptly celebrated :).

Wed Aug 3 14:28:30 EDT 2011 | Yann
you got it!!!
Wed Aug 3 15:48:27 EDT 2011 | george ray
Great Job !!!!
Thu Aug 4 3:25:32 EDT 2011 | Brian
Happy for you Richard. good work.
Have couple of guests here who chatted to you in Cartwright before last departure, they will be pleased to here you made it too.
Thu Aug 4 9:23:24 EDT 2011 | Amos
Congratulations to all hands; the rewards of persistance!! Huzzah.
Thu Aug 4 16:56:13 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thank you, gentlemen.

Thu Aug 4 22:46:09 EDT 2011 | George Conk
Congratulations, Richard and crew.
I have dreamed of sailing to Greenland for 30 years - since I read Rockwell Kent's N by E.

- George
Fri Aug 5 6:05:21 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, George.

I've always liked Rockwell Kent's N by E. I'm hoping to have an easier time of this trip than he did :)
Fri Aug 5 15:17:30 EDT 2011 | George Conk
It's true Kent's boat was wrecked in a storm in the harbor, but he wintered with Salamina, and paid tribute to her in a book of the same name, with many paintings.
Mon Aug 8 15:53:34 EDT 2011 | Magda
Congratulations from Martin and myself :D You finally made it :D
Into the Arctic
Mon Aug 1 15:00:00 EDT 2011, Davis Strait

Today we crossed the Arctic Circle (red arrow in picture). While the Arctic Circle is quite an arbitrary line of latitude, above it, there is 24 hour daylight for at least some of the summer (the farther north, the more days of 24 hour daylight each summer). We're late in the year, so we are seeing sunrise about 0300, sunset about 2230 and light or twilight in between.


Wed Aug 3 4:55:45 EDT 2011 | george ray
Go ISSUMA !! .. Richard, what is your personal furtherest north that you have adventured ??
Wed Aug 3 14:28:40 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, George, this is the furthest north that I have sailed so far.
The Foremast
Mon Aug 1 11:02:00 EDT 2011, Davis Strait

The view aloft, from the foredeck. The four-sided sail on the left is the fisherman. The sail with the orange triangle patch is the storm jib. Once I've set the storm jib, I usually leave it set as long as I'm sailing--there being no necessity to take it down once the winds get lighter.


Sat Jul 30 19:02:00 EDT 2011, Davis Strait

The view in the pilothouse. To the left, Lin is studying the Greenland cruising guide, on the right, farther forward and much less visible, Jordan is playing his guitar.

Sun Jul 31 7:55:33 EDT 2011 | george ray
Very nice to see some 'life aboard' rather than only scenery and topsides. Navigators and musicians are great, where is the cook? What are you emphasizing for provisions? hard tack and salt pork ??? . . . . . . .. I have been doing a lot of dehydrating lately and thinking of voyaging stores. Instead of slicing then drying, I puree in powerful blender and pour out on non-stick sheet to make fruit leather and vegetable crisp. All dried at low temps to maintain max nutritional value.
Sun Jul 31 10:37:58 EDT 2011 | Brian Lumley
Good to see all is well. Are you dehydrating with your stove?
Wed Aug 3 8:42:21 EDT 2011 | Richard Hudson
I'll make a later post about food aboard
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.

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