[Boreal ABE 2016] N°9, Tuesday 30th August 2016, Denmark Strait – N67*34′ W22*42′ – to Isafjordur

Although the previous blogger rose early with Guillaume and Greg as they got Boreal out to sea, in the grip of the rising gale she became somewhat indisposed and so handed this blog over to someone more sturdy ….
After a windy night at anchor, we left Kap Dalton on Monday morning, 6:30am, with a Southerly wind. Not the best direction to head back to Isafjordur. The weather files forecasted no more than 25 knots for Monday and then the wind to veer (clockwise change in direction) to North East, so it looked like a good window of opportunity. However, the barometer started to fall and beyond Kap Dalton we could see the waves breaking; so it looked like we would have to pay the price before running with the wind later.

With no gentle introduction, we were straight into gale force 8. Under two reefs, a third of the staysail and all crew with their harnesses, Boreal valiantly headed towards Iceland … well not quite, given the drift close hauled on the wind. Greg and Michelle had their time at the helm before turning on the autopilot. As we progressed through the Greenland Banks, 30 miles from the coast, the wind increased to 45 knots and the sea became very rough – time for a third reef and a serious shower on the foredeck. Once back in the safety of the doghouse, and drying off from the earlier soaking, we realised that an iceberg lay straight ahead and we had to harnessed up again to change our course. Unexpectedly, having not seen any boats for the last ten days, a big trawler, the KIEL, crossed our path, ploughing through the waves. The officer on watch on the KIEL kindly provided us with an updated weather on the VHF, confirming that we would have to endure ten more hours before the wind would drop and veer to the North East quadrant. 

This indeed proved correct and after a cooling off through the night, we ended up motoring on Tuesday morning before catching a fair North Easterly breeze for the last run towards Isafjordur. 

A rare sight … the skipper got sick.

Exhausted, we all enjoyed a good night’s sleep tied up to the jetty.