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Old 03 August 2003, 09:43   #1
Country: UK - England
Boat name: Spirit of Cardiff
Make: Ribtec
Length: 10m +
Engine: Yamaha 240hp diesel
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20
12 - The last leg

Saturday 2nd August

The last 24 hours have been extremely bumpy and painful, to the point where we're suffering from both the battering and the consequent lack of sleep. So it's with some relief that we pull into the harbour on the island of Heimaey, part of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago 15 miles south of Iceland.

Thirty years ago, an eruption began along a 1.5 mile long fissure on the volcano Eldfell ("fire mountain") not far from the centre of town, spewing out lava and a spectacular curtain of fire. Most of the island's 5,300 inhabitants had to be evacuated to the mainland.

Over the course of a couple of months, houses were buried by the lava flow, but when it threatened to engulf the harbour, fire-fighting boats poured millions of gallons of water over it to slow its advance. The resultant cooling not only stemmed the lava's advance, it actually produced a better harbour.

I came to Heimaey 12 years ago, and then the lava still had hot patches, where just below the surface, the rock could be seen glowing red hot. Now, much of it is green, colonised by plants and mosses, and the locals have carved tracks through it to mark where the original streets and houses were, now many metres below the surface. I was also reminded of my visit to the local museum, where the natural history section featured stuffed puffins, and then going to the restaurant next door, where they were on the menu.

We've been warned that we have a southerly wind to look forward to as we head out on our last leg to Cape Wrath, and then on to our first UK landfall in Bangor. At the moment what we have is a northerly, which couldn't be better, and the Icelandic refuelling man seems to think we might have this all the way to Scotland. We always trust our forecasts from Bertie, but in this instance, we wouldn't mind a little local knowledge prevailing.

We won't make our 100 hours by the time we get to Cape Wrath, although provided we manage to arrive by Sunday afternoon / evening, our at sea time won't be much more, and even our total elapsed time from St John's will only be a week, so we're still on course to better our world record transatlantic time from May 2001.

Clive Tully

© 2003 Clive Tully
Update transmitted by Stratos Iridium satellite phone.

Lava field from the 1973 eruption on Heimaey:
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Old 03 August 2003, 12:44   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: portsmouth
Boat name: not got one
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Send a message via AIM to sammantha-king Send a message via Yahoo to sammantha-king
To the madmen (Alan inpartically),
Just been reading up on the voyage so far, i bet you guys have bruises in places i wouldnt even like to imagine!!!!!!!!! ouch!!!!.
I am keeping myself posted and have read everything so far i will be keen to read this book when its written and to my madman friend Alan welldone now perhaps you might think ever so slightly about a tamer hobby (only joking dont come out in a cold sweat at the thought of anything normal).
Enjoy whats left of the challenge, i hope everything goes smoothly and that you arrive back home safely.
Takecare guys,
Sammantha King
smile it makes people wonder what youve been upto :0)
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Old 03 August 2003, 14:48   #3
Country: Canada
Town: Devon, Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 111
On the home stretch!

Well, it's good to hear you are on the final stretch of this incredible journey.
To Dad from Talia (verbatim)- I love you Poppy. You are my best friend and someday I want you to come to my house tomorrow.
(Talia is Dad's 4-year old grandaughter)
Deana Angell is offline  
Old 03 August 2003, 16:36   #4
Country: USA
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1
Hello all aboard The Jolly Sailor!

Sitting here in Southern California, reading your journal, and cheering you on!!

I became aware of your journey through Deana, and the Downhomer Magazine Kitchen.

Wishing you all continued Godspeed on your fantastic journey!!!

Love n Laughter ....Lynda Kay Bruton
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