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Iceland - Greenland  1.7.- 4.8.2001

1.7.2001 Reykjavik, Iceland
We motored all the 120 miles from Westman islands to Reykjavik through the grey and calm sea. However, thanks to the calmness, we were able to discover a group of killer whales, and we turned to follow them towards north. There was about 30-40 whales, all ages and sizes from a tiny baby whale to a huge male. One of them had a loosely hanging fin. It wasn't the released Keiko, though. Closer to Reykjavik four dolphins came to play beside Kristiina.

On Friday (29.6.) morning we arrived to the empty guest harbour of Reykjavik. The harbour master arrived as soon as we got moored. He answered to our "Good morning" with a angry burst: why didn't we listen ch 12 or called the pilot! Well, we had on 16 as usual, and it didn't come to our mind to call the pilot to enter the empty harbour. When we entered Vestmanna harbour, no one answered on ch 12. Anyway, things were ok later on, and actually the welcome made us felt very homelike.
The guest harbour of Reykjavik consists of a jetty, a toilet and electricity. No showers, no washing machine. No laundrette in the town. A bit surprising for the old maritime capital. In the afternoon we walked the two kilometer way to the swimming pool. 

On Saturday we got company of the Finnish motor yacht Ferdinand, which we met in Torshavn, and of a big American aluminum yacht Hawke. On Sunday arrived the English yacht Fyne Spirits, which we'd met already twice.

16.7.2001 Reykjavik
We have already been a fortnight in Reykjavik, preparing the boat and visiting interesting sights with other tourists. We have also been eager visitors of the swimmingpool, not so much for swimming but sitting in a hot pot. Our gasts for the Greenland-Newfoundland leg, Johanna and Juha arrived, and we are ready and willing to set sail again. Our plan to sail through the Prins Christian Sund might be hindered because of the ice, and if so, we have to sail round the Kap Farvel and up to the west coast until  we can find a free way in. We have about 600-800 miles ahead depending on the ice.

Stokkur erupts every 15 minutes

Gullfoss, 32 metres of waterfall

25.7.2001 Sangmissoq, Greenland
On the 23rd of July we anchored in a sheltered bay of the island Sangmissoq near the Kap Farvel. On our six and half days sailing we enjoyed a wide variety of wind speed. First few days we had very light winds, partly motoring our way. Little by little the wind rose, and soon we were making 6 knots by tiny corner of genoa. On the Saturday morning we were 60 miles from Kap Farvel and the wind was blowing about 20 m/s, taking us too soon the dangerous waters of the cape. We decided to launch the sea anchor and wait for a more calm sea.
The skipper digged up the brand new sea anchor and 100 meters rope. The first try from the cockpit didn't work, so Hannu and Juha went on deck and managed to launch the sea anchor. Kristiina headed up to wind and we started to drift about 0.5 to 2 knots depending on the wind. She was jumping like mad and the noise inside was tremendous. But we were able to have some rest. After 20 hours the wind gave up a bit and we were ready to continue. We had driften 16 miles, to the right direction.
We were informed in Reykjavik that the Prins Christian Sund was closed because of the ice, and this was confirmed on our way by the Narsarsuaq Ice center. Therefore we took our course directly to the Kap Farvel. We were told by the Ice center to keep 15 miles from the shore, but we thought that maybe the wind had done something to the situation - and it had. In a bright sunshine we sailed closer and closer the coastline, heading to Ikeq-fjord. Icebergs and growlers began to come towards us, but we were able to slip by them. At times there were no ice at all, but some other places looked like unpassable.
The scenery was amazing! High, sharp mountains surrounded the fjord, blue ice sculptures drifting by. The size of the ice bergs varied from a two-block building to a car. About 10 pm we reached the first anchorage in the Ikeq-fjord and drove in. We anchored, filled the dinghy and drove in land. We were in Greenland!
The valley around the bay is very green with a plenitude of different plants and flowers. Definetely a green land! Clear streams run down the mountains, and the water is good. We were able to fill our water tanks.

On the 25th we celebrated skipper's birthday by having a sauna and eating a reindeer dinner.
On the next day, it was blowing about 30 m/s in our bay, and Kristiina is rolling and swaying. Inside it felt like in the open sea, things were moving and flying, and it was difficult to stay in bunk. The anchor hold, and after 20 hours the wind eased.

4.8.2001 Julianehåb, Greenland
After we had spent a week exploring the fjords and bays of the South cape, we visited our first greenlandic village, the 160 inhabitants' Augpilatoq. It has a school for 25 pupils and four teachers, and a shop. Next day we continued to another empty and beautiful bay, and had sauna again. Such a splendid sauna-view none of us had ever had before! The next day we motored further up the west coast, and the scenery became more flat, almost like the home archipelago. We anchored for the night in a sheltered bay, and studied the deserted houses on the shore.

Timo pushes the ice away in Augpilatoq

We arrived to Nanortalik, a village of 1800 inhabitants, through a dense fog, navigating with radar and trying to figure out what was land and what an iceberg. Nanortalik had a self-service laundry, and we got rid of our huge wash. In the evening we had a dinner in the restaurant Kap Farvel, the only one in Nanortalik.

Not a bad place for a sauna...

We enjoyed one more nature harbour by the island of Unartoq, which has a geothermal pound. After that we motored to the capital of the Southern Greenland, Julianehåb or Qaqortoq, as it  is called in greenlandic, impossible for us to pronounce.
We were presented an excellent show of eskimo rolls (or turns?) by two kayaks, when we arrived. The kayaks were made of cloth and painted white outside.
Julianehåb has 3500 inhabitants and the town looks quite wealthy and clean. It has a museum and a library, as well as several shops. But unfortunately no slide developing, so the pile of taken pictures is still growing.
We visited the Julianehåb coast radio station, to whom we had spoken on our way, and got some weather information. It confirmed what we had learned of our SSB-charts from Halifax: there is couple of lows coming over from Newfoundland to Grenland. We will wait them to pass before we start our sailing over the Labrador sea.

Kristiina exploring one of the glaciers in Greenland

Our club flag and three members

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