Arctic Sailing Day 16

19 augustus 2016

Day 16: Bonus Whales!

Position: 68˚ 52.3’ N 20˚ 15.07’ W heading South…ish.

Hi All

I just had to share the excitement from the midnight to 04:00hrs watch this morning. It was bitterly cold to start with as we had departed Scoresby Sund and the wind had kicked in (around force 4-5 from the South West…ish. There were a number of icebergs offshore with some bergy bits and one or two growlers (remnants of icebergs just bobbing above the water but often not visible on radar. With lots of white horses these were difficult to see. We set a rota of 20 minutes on the helm, 20 minutes on lookout and 20 minutes below warming up. The fourth person on our watch was designated as Ops coordinator… i.e. making the jam sandwiches.

We are conserving fuel and the time that the generator is on, so the tea was rather tepid on this shift. The sun set and we needed to find out how to stitch the navigation lights and compass light on! All rather strange. It did not really go dark and it was only a shore hour before it became light again. We did not see a sun rise as we had full cloud cover at this stage.

Andy T managed to spot a whale blow about 10m on the starboard beam. Amid much excitement we then saw what we think was a Minke or a Sei whale only a couple of boat lengths away. She gave us three more blows (high and narrow blows for those observers amongst you) and then disappeared. We have just got up for our noon watch to be greeted by the shout of whale again. We think three or four large whales (Blue whale?) were blowing in the distance.

All great fun and very exciting. This is what we came for! Jim is keen for me to take the wheel now so I will sign off.

Aye aye

Andy B and Sally.

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