SHIPSLOG 21 Sept 19:00 UTC Baffin Sea 65, 02N 52, 58W, 5.6 water temp, 7.8 air temp
Pretty much all the crew are on deck and I have steeled myself away below from the sunshine and chatter above deck in order to write the SHIPSLOG and send the last 24 hours of photos off…
So, yesterday afternoon continued as the morning was, with warm weather and calm seas, very little wind and so still under motor. With the sea looking like mercury it was easy to spot the many seals on route and a couple of small whales, feeding around what appear to be shoals of fish judging by the broken water’s surface. Rather than crew members ducking down below as soon as their watch ended (or ducking down several times during a watch) in order to warm up, most crew passed the afternoon on deck. Ben has been inventing virgin cocktails for the ‘on deckers’; with the interesting mix of random cordials an orange and the jar of olives he found. Nikolai has taken to no longer wearing just a jumper outside but now just a t-shirt; the one that he got when the expedition launched which says Polar Ocean Challenge on the front and Wicked Weather watch off the back.
We all agreed we missed the iceberg dodgems of the previous days and got excited when we spotted a big iceberg looming on the horizon. But the fact that it seemed to be moving at speed towards us as we were moving towards it meant that it was in fact a ship! with Arctic Line written on the side. We are not used to seeing other vessels, we have been so remote these last 2 months.
The sunny windless day gave way to a clear calm night and the Aurora Borealis came out again, even bigger than the night before, it stayed for hours and so everyone got to see it. It climbed again to the vastness of space and surrounded the whole boat with a glow of light where the sky and the refection of the green light in the sea merged and so you couldn’t see the horizon and it was as if the boat had become lost in a fog on the starboard side. But with the mountains still showing sharp on the port side. Incredible. Literally.
We crossed the Arctic Circle this morning and celebrated with shot of Bacardi Rum that was happily found by Nikolai in amongst a rope tidy up on deck this morning. It was really (really!) a surprise to everyone.
We thought we had just enough wind to sail at 6am this morning for an hour, and tried again at about 1pm today but there just isn’t enough. But with the engine turned off Nikolai took the opportunity to service the engine, and the shipstinyperson Ros, got underneath into the bowels of the boat to try and reattach the suction pipe for the 3rd bilge pump which Nikolai discovered wasn’t working, but to no avail. After drifting around with no ind and no engine for an hour in this beautiful middle of Arctic nowhere, we headed off again. So for those of you watching on the tracking thats why we stopped and did a 360.
We are due to arrive in Nuuk at 07.30 UTC. The Atlantic crew will have already arrived and then there is a busy couple of days ahead getting ready for the big cross Atlantic trip to bring the boat back to Bristol. More about that tomorrow.