07 - Good progress
Monday 28th July
The first 250 miles have been fairly hard overall. They're not big seas, but there's enough of a chop to make it decidedly uncomfortable when the boat comes off the top of a wave and has a hard landing. My arms and shoulders already have an interesting selection of bruises, and my back has a few aches and pains, too.
Since leaving St John's yesterday afternoon, we haven't even stopped for a brew-up or to make something to eat, so we've been existing on snacks and bottled water (kindly supplied by Dominion in St John's). The reason is simply that we have to outrun the really bad weather, and so far, not only are we succeeding at that, we've managed to put ourselves four hours ahead of schedule.
Apart from the bumps and bruises, everyone seems to be adjusting well to life on board. We've seen plenty of puffins wheeling around the boat, some distant whales, and a school of dolphins crossing right in front of us. It's just a shame the weather is so gloomy, and the sun is somewhere else. Still, it could be much, much worse.
Jan and I get the only real excitement during the night watches. It's about 0220 Newfoundland time when I get a contact on the radar. We already know that while the pack ice has gone completely, we may encounter a few drifting icebergs out there, and we're fast approaching the area where we've been warned to keep our eyes peeled. As icebergs go, this one proves to have a tidy turn of speed, and although the ship passes us at under two miles, I have to struggle to see her lights through the veil of fog hanging over us.
As I write, we're about halfway across the Davis Strait, and if we maintain this level of progress, we'll be arriving in Nanortalik around lunchtime tomorrow. So today we'll probably set our clocks to Greenland time. It's only half an hour different from Newfoundland, so adjusting ourselves to it shouldn't be too bad.
© 2003 Clive Tully
Update transmitted by Stratos Iridium satellite phone.
Alan checks our whereabouts on his up-to-date mini atlas: