July 17, 2019
Noon Position: 52 36N 51 36W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NxE 6.5
Wind(t/tws): SE 10
Sea(t/ft): Various to 2
Sky/10ths Cover: Fog/10. Visibility 300 feet.
Bar(mb): 1013, steady
On-deck Temp(f): 69 (49 at 6am)
Cabin Temp(f): 63
Water Temp(f): 45
Relative Humidity(%): 55
Magnetic Variation: -19.6
Sail: Motoring. Working jib and main at full.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 129
Miles since departure: 32,129
Leg Newfoundland to Nuuk
Fog sometimes clears to a mile, but usually it stays low and heavy, a few boat lengths to a few hundred feet being typical.
For the first hours of this, I stand watch almost constantly, and, having discovered the blank screen of a fog horizon, the mind has a field day. I can just make out great spires of ice emerging from the haze to starboard. When these don’t pan out, the mind invents tabular bergs the size of Manhattan lurking barely beyond the pale. Can I see or do I intuit the massive cliffs; the top flat as a runway?
Later I sit my watch out. Then I cook dinner, have a beer. The sky that had all the color of a florescent bulb fades to black. Now I’m relying entirely on radar. I check it often; but at each check, it sees nothing of interest. And at each check I become a little more comfortable. We’re flying on instruments tonight. By morning I’m not watching at all.
The wind dies at midnight. I flick on the engine and have been motoring ever since. As I type, the wind is back to 12 knots on the quarter. Engine off. We’re catching the tail of a low that should last a day. Then more motoring. My bet is it will be like this until we re-enter the Pacific some 7,000 miles further on.
At 10am we hit a log. I heard a soft thump at the bow and then saw a golden and much rounded piece of timber a foot in diameter and five feet long trail in Mo’s wake. What will ice sound like, I wonder.
Birds in number today. Suddenly the Northern Fulmar and Shearwater in gangs around the boat. This lasts two hours and then they are gone.
310 miles down. Nuuk is still 670 miles further on.
This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage