13 September 2018 | South West Greenland
We had planned to leave Greenland two days ago, however Chris Parker, the weather forecaster, advised us of Hurricane Helene and her impending track across the Atlantic. This would have put us in her path! We considered jumping to Iceland but again we could not make Reyjkavik before the weather turned really nasty (One day short). Having had 11 months experience if Icelandic weather, we knew better than to get stuck in that. So we are resolved to wait it out. We arrived in beautiful, friendly Qaqortoq yesterday mid morning and topped up the fuel tanks. The bracket where the vang fits the boom broke in heavy swells on the passage from Sisimiut. This is the second time, last time in 2015, so Andy is going to re-design it when we eventually stop for maintenance. It is one job on the list!! Cruisers will know what that means ;-)
A chance conversation while paying for the fuel brought forth an offer of a welder so we took the bracket off and headed for QEF. They didn't have the right welding rod so via a circuitous walk to Stark, a car repair shop and several phone calls we ended up at VVS Services by the heli-pad. They are a fabrication company (we used their Sisimiut branch). They quickly assessed the problem and, with Andy also involved, a young fabricator spent a couple of hours repairing the break but also strengthening the bracket to get us home. We had some interesting conversations especially after a coffin was delivered. A cruise ship guest had died the week before and the coffin was for shipping her home but it needed lining with metal first. Everyone here has been very friendly and their English has been very good, even in the older generation. The last few days have been glorious sunny, blue sky Greenland days with clear, starry nights and Northern Lights. It is dark by 8.30pm though, the sun is diminishing quickly. Today we are going to visit the town as 'tourists'. It has a couple of lovely churches and museum buildings. We are also going to visit the ship yard to see if they can lift Destiny, in case we can't get across the Atlantic and need to stay in Greenland for another winter, returning to the UK next spring. It is all about planning, reviewing options and, as this summer's NWP attempt proved, about being patient. A lesson the Greenlanders know very well. Maybe this afternoon we will head out to fish for Salmon and sit out the weather in settled anchorages as we head further south to the Nanortalik area, ready to take advantage of any weather window probably not until after the 21st September.
PICTURE: Janice getting lines ready for fuelling at Qaqortoq