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The Iceberg and the Sailboat
Sun Aug 14 10:02:00 EDT 2011, Baffin Bay

In the middle of Baffin Bay, after a few days of seeing nothing but sky, water, ice and fog, Jordan saw a sailboat in the distance. I called on the VHF radio for sailboat at our approximate position, and Jeffrey Allison of Essamy answered. We had met in Upernavik, as we were both on the same dock. They left a little later than us and followed a different course--going north of the ice in the middle of Baffin Bay (on yesterdays image) instead of south of it like we did. We had a chat and took some pictures, then continued on our separate ways.

Thanks all for the comments on the blog. The airtime on the satellite phone has been extended, thanks Timothy. Victor and Peter, thanks for the ice reports. Blair, thanks for the Arctic Bay info.

Yvonne, thanks for thinking of us. The sailboat you saw was probably either Matt Rutherford singlehanding a 27 foot sloop, or an Austrian family's boat. If you're going to be staying in the Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait area, we'll probably miss you, as we have a fair wind and are heading towards Prince Regent Inlet (I'm behind on the blog).

Mon Aug 15 11:09:55 EDT 2011 | Amos
Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.
Baffin Bay
Sat Aug 13 10:02:00 EDT 2011, Baffin Bay

William Baffin was the pilot for Robert Bylot's 1616 voyage from England, around Kap Farvel (south tip of Greenland), into Davis Strait, up the west coast of Greenland to Melville Bay, then to Smith Sound and Lancaster Sound, then south along the coast of Baffin Island. This was a great achievement for the time (no European had gotten so far beyond Davis Strait), and many doubted that the accounts of the voyage were true. For two centuries afterwards, instead of showing Baffin Bay, charts showed a dotted bulge north of Davis Strait noting the legend of Baffin Bay.

The picture is from an Ice Chart, used because it was handy, and already in digital form. I'll come back to Ice Charts another time. The Ice Chart was received as a weatherfax transmission, hence the grainness and noise in the image. Issuma's track is roughly shown on the map--we intentionally went south of the ice in the middle of Baffin Bay, and then did some tacking later, as required by the wind at the time. Much time was spent motoring in no wind and dense fog.

The arrows on the map roughly show the currents in Baffin Bay (I drew them in, they are not part of the ice chart).

If the blog posts stop after this entry, it is due to a problem getting my Iridium satellite phone airtime refilled, complicated by a technical problem with the satellite phone vendor's telephone system.

Sat Aug 13 12:06:07 EDT 2011 | Yann
if you don't want to try the northwest passage, you are in a wrong direction :)
congratulations, have a great time
Sun Aug 14 23:42:22 EDT 2011 | George Conk
How much fuel do you have? And ammunition for seal and bear hunting?
Remember - it took Amundsen 3 years to complete the northwest passage!
Thu Aug 11 11:02:00 EDT 2011, Upernavik, Greenland

The tidy little community of Upernavik (it means The Spring Place). With a population of about 1100, Upernavik is the largest settlement in the area. The harbor is very open to the NW, but there are other places to anchor around the island of Upernavik to get shelter.

We made a very quick food and fuel stop here, we arrived after midnight, tied up to a fishery research boat on the dock, and were gone early in the afternoon. The blog is now a few days behind.

Thanks for the comments on the blog. Yes, Iceland is just around the corner from Greenland and it would certainly be a nice place to visit again.

Fri Aug 12 5:46:09 EDT 2011 | Yvonne
hey Richard and crew, we are here at Resolute, Nunavut, we were near Gascroyne Bay, few day's ago, not sure if I got the last name right, but couple days before we left there, we seen a sail boat, I was wondering if that was you guy's, anyway's we will be up around north during this month and September. Hope you have a great smooth sailing, from aboard the Coast Guard Ship " Henry Larsen", Quartermaster, Yvonne Nochasak, your Inuit friend from Nain Labrador.
Sanderson's Hope
Tue Aug 9 11:02:00 EDT 2011, near Upernavik, Greenland

In 1587, John Davis made his third and last voyage to Davis Strait and what is now called Baffin Bay. Davis named this 300m/1000' cliff Sanderson's Hope, after his main financial backer, William Sanderson of London. Davis wrote 'no ice towards the north but a great sea, free, large, very salt and blue, and of an unsearchable depth'.

A northerly gale prevented Davis from getting any further north than Sandersons Hope, and he sailed back to England.

Thanks for the comments to recent posts.

I'm not able to reply directly to comments while at sea, but I do receive them. It was interesting to read how hot it is in more temperate climates. It is certainly not hot here :). As to the question of where are we going next....stay tuned :)

Thu Aug 11 5:51:35 EDT 2011 | Sif
Well as the answer to where to go next, Iceland is around the corner from Greenland.
Thu Aug 11 17:01:28 EDT 2011 | Brian Lumley
Good to see you are progressing north.
Thu Aug 11 17:01:51 EDT 2011 | Brian Lumley
Good to see you are progressing north.
Iceberg Caipirinhas
Tue Aug 9 11:02:00 EDT 2011, Greenland

When I was in Brazil, I took a liking to the drink they have there called caipirinha. It is made with lime, sugar, ice and either cachaca (a spirit from sugar cane) or vodka.

One of the things I wanted to do on this trip to the arctic (well, not the main objective :) ) was to have a caipirinha with ice from an iceberg. I brought some cachaca and some caiprinha mix (we don't have limes aboard) from Brazil for this purpose. In the picture, Lin is holding a piece of ice from an iceberg, and I have the cachaca and caipirinha mix.

On a more serious note, summer in Greenland is dominated by the Greenland High (high pressure, clear skies, light winds), so it can be deceptively tranquil in the arctic. While there are few signs of it now, summer is ending, and the easy, pleasant conditions seen in the pictures along with it.

Wed Aug 10 8:39:51 EDT 2011 | george ray
How did you get the ice? Did you nose up to a berg and break piece off? If so, what were your concerns getting so close to a berg?
Wed Aug 10 11:36:12 EDT 2011 | Michael C. Bohn
Congratulations on making it to Greenland! Well done. Hoping you have smooth sailing...

Wed Aug 10 15:17:52 EDT 2011 | will
saude!! that looks celebratory!
Mon Aug 8 18:00:00 EDT 2011, Greenland

Always different, always nice to look at (from a distance, on a clear, sunny, light-wind day).

Sailing Towards Ice
Mon Aug 8 10:00:00 EDT 2011, Greenland

We had a nice gentle wind blowing off the land at first, so a pleasant sail past the icebergs on a clear, sunny day. Winds blowing off the land don't produce much in the way of waves, and don't tend to have enough moisture for fog or rain.

Heading North
Sun Aug 7 10:00:00 EDT 2011, Greenland

We sailed north from Aasiaat. Disko Bay, which Aasiaat is on the SE corner of, is an area of spectacular icebergs, with lots of whales. It would be very nice to spend more time here, but the summer is short.

On the left, a whale is waving his tail.

Marine Railway
Sat Aug 6 10:00:00 EDT 2011, Aasiaat,Greenland

The marine railway tracks leading down to the harbor in Aasiaat. Issuma is just visible, docked across the harbor.

Sat Aug 6 15:22:17 EDT 2011 | Amos

Great pictures. Looks like the weather is stable at present? What's the prognosis? Do you plan to sail north from there? Or back to the US?
Mon Aug 8 12:49:42 EDT 2011 | Steve Baek
Grrrrrrreat to see that you're in Grrrrrrreenland.
We had a steamy 29C and St. John had 10C yesterday. Hope weather there agrees with you.
Steve and Sini
Busy Shipyard
Sat Aug 6 0:00:00 EDT 2011, Aasiaat, Greenland

The shipyard in Aasiaat is quite busy, working on several fishing boats. The boats are brought ashore on the marine railway by driving them onto the cradles, then the cradles are winched up the railway tracks until the boat is high and dry. In the picture, they are preparing the first cradle to receive another boat.

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