10 - And they're off again
Thursday 31st July
After the possibility that we may not have got away from Nanortalik till Saturday, the deep depression is moving on, and has given us the break we need to head off for Iceland. Our original plan was to refuel in Reykjavik, but now we've managed to knock a few miles off the passage by heading instead for Heimaey in the Westmann Islands, off the south coast of the Icelandic mainland.
Once we hang a left at Cape Farewell, the wind will be behind us, and not so strong as it was on Tuesday, when we were hit by what's known in these parts as an "Arctic whisper" - where cold air from the north meets warm air from the south.
Yesterday was just a question of doing a bit of housekeeping on the boat, and taking a look at our surroundings. Nanortalik is in a beautiful setting at the end of a fjord, with impressive mountains dotted around. So we took a wander round the town, stopping to look at the pretty church, and some traditional Inuit summer dwellings - low stone walls with wooden frame and seal-skin roofs. These days, of course, the igloos are smart wooden houses or apartments.
We're mindful that from today, we're no longer the only RIB on the ocean. Bear Grylls and his Arctic Explorer sets off from Halifax, pretty much following the same route as us. We understand his weather isn't too good to start with, so we wish him well and hope he and his crew stays safe. On the plus side, by the time he arrives in Greenland, he won't have any ice other than the occasional iceberg to worry about, which will no doubt be a huge relief.
© 2003 Clive Tully
Update transmitted by Stratos Iridium satellite phone.
Having an ice time - Jan Falkowski catches a few rays as Jolly Sailor heads for Cape Farewell: