Leaving Pond Inlet
26 August 2018 | Pond Inlet, Baffin, Canada
It is now 3pm on 27 August and we are leaving Pond Inlet heading down the Labrador coast to Clyde River before striking across to Sisimiut in Greenland to receive some spare parts for our transmission, which failed again two days ago. We were in Emerson Bay with the American boat Breskell, sitting out some heavy weather. Initially heading to Pond Inlet from Tay Bay, the wind kept rising with a swelly sea making it hard work with two reefs in the main and the staysail out. So we diverted to Emerson Bay. It was great to catch up with Olivier and Eric again (first met in Sisimiut). They too have had their adventures attempting the North West Passage, having holed their hull with ice. It has been a difficult year for the attempt. Like us, many boats have now quit and are heading for safe harbours for the winter. It is already getting dark here, a quick transition in the last week.
Leaving Emerson Bay Friday evening we had got the anchor up and were motoring out when we lost the transmission again. Sails up, we almost sailed to Pond Inlet but the wind died in the early hours with unusually a following wind but heading swell! In our favour was 1 knot of tide drifting us directly to Pond. Breskell had already arrived but were monitoring us. We launched the dingy and got the 20hp outboard out and fitted in difficult conditions. Andy then towed the boat with the dingy using one of the deck mounted rope reels. Andy Wilson was on the helm with the rest of us sorting sails, anchors etc. Breskell had to re-anchor so they came out and threw us a line. Andy tied this to our tow line and Bresskell almost effortlessly towed us to the anchorage point at Pond Inlet. Releashing the lines we dropped the Spade anchor in 15m and used the tidal stream to set it. Many thanks to Olivier and Eric for helping out - a well deserved bottle of Glenmorangie recipient!
Safe again we all had some refreshment and then some sleep after a night of difficult sailing. Andy Wilson has pulled a muscle in his back but did a sterling job. Once up Andy assessed the transmission and we went ashore to get provisions and try to find shim material and lock tight for bearings. Shopping was a result but nothing until Monday for repairs. In the meantime, Ocean Endeavour, a large cruise ship had arrived in the bay for the afternoon. We radioed them and their Chief Engineer sent over some shim material and Locktite in a rib but also offered the use of their lathe if we could get the offending part off in time. Never again will we complain of cruise ships - A great helping hand - thank you the crew of Ocean Endeavour. While they were there Narwhals were spotted in the bay. Quickly the local Inuit launched boats from the shoreline and headed out hunting. In very short time a few returned dragging Narwhals. These were taken into the shore where the men very quickly cut them up in the surf, leaving only the intestine for the gulls and ravens to feast on. Very impressive; nothing is wasted.
Andy and I were back contorted in the engine compartment. A few hours later we had the clamp off the prop shaft, Andy went across to Ocean Endeavour and returned with the clamp, cleaned up as much as possible. We then spent the rest of the evening and most of Sunday cleaning the prop shaft etc and re-installing the clamp using shim material only. Hours of un-comfortable positions and we had it back together and gently tested the transmission. Success. Showers, a lovely dinner and a good nights sleep.
While we were doing this Andy Wilson was in our bunk trying to ease his painful back. Dave and Claire were busy in the galley making Hermann friendship cake from the starter we made (thanks Simon and Sally for the recipe), cookies, bread and dinners as well as visiting ashore. Claire is doing another sourdough bread from the starter we kept (we have named the starter Bud). We have sprouted mung beans for salads and cooking so they are called Heinz.
This morning we went ashore to stretch our legs before testing the transmission again and also dingy towing from alongside the boat which proved more effective than a straight line tow achieving 3.5 knots. Now we are heading out on the next stage of the adventure. All are in good spirits.
PICTURE: Claire busy in the galley replenishing the goodies for the next stage ;-)