Expedition Around North America
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Reykjavik (Iceland) - Nuuk (Groenland)
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Leg 2
Reykjavik (Iceland) - Nuuk (Greenland)
(June 7th - June 20th)

June 20th, 2008
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

Nuuk, Greenland, 22h40 local time

Today our leg is very much in the inside waters, flat and calm, protected by small archipelagos in our west. A light breeze from South push us towards our destination.
The weather is beautifull. It's incredible, the sun shines every day since we're in Greenland and the sky is blue day after day.
In the distance, the city appears. Big buildings, diesel tanks, here we're. For the final approach the wind blows very hard and gusty, we finish the last half mille with no sail downwind at 5 knts. The harbor is crowded with fishing boats. The space inside is small and makes it difficult to stay in stand by with this nasty wind. We send the dinghy to look after a place where we can dock. A barge, in front of a tug seems to fit, a bit small but it's the only solution. Couple of meters from our goal, a very strong gust push us to the bow of the tug. The pushpit, the SSB antenna and horse shoe bouy are bending under the pressure. When we're docked, we watch more carefully for damages but we see nothing serious.
We're in Nuuk, capital of Greenland. The end of the second leg of the expedition.

Arrival to Nuuk-Photo Delphine Maratier

Arrival to Nuuk
(Click to enlarge)
June 19th, 2008, 23h30 UTC
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

Nordafar, Greenland

We stayed in the same fjord today, we sailed only 4 milles to another abandonaded village. A fishery apparently. Like all over the other places in the Arctic, nothing is dismantled when the activity stops.
Tomorrow we go to Nuuk because we would like to be there on june 21st for the Greenlandic national day.

June 18th, 2008, 23h30 UTC
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

Faeringhavn, Greenland

23h30 local time

7 AM, we're entering in the small bay where we choose to cast anchor. On the other side of the fjord, oil tanks are in sight. The bay is composed of small islands. We have the feeling we could find a village here. Suddenly, we see a house, and another one. Here is a village but totally abandoned. In the afternoon, we go on shore for a visit. Some houses are used as camp site sometimes. It's difficult to say how old is the village, Second World War or cold war?? The site is beautiful.

Abandoned Village in Greenland-Photo Delphine Maratier
Abandoned Village in Greenland
(Click to enlarge)
June 17th, 2008, 23h50 UTC
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

63°11'N - 051°22'W

We set sails in the beginning of the afternoon. Outside the fjord, the pack ice is waiting for us. The weather is beautiful, the ice field is not dense, then we are in ideal conditions to enjoy it. We are sailing from iceberg to iceberg. With the sun, the color of the ice seen in transparency under water gathers all nuances of turquoises.
Seals are taking a nap and a group of three humpback whales stay with us for a while. The film team takes the advantage to shoot in every direction, from the mast, the dinghy, under water. The world we're travelling in is a pure masterpiece. It's 9 PM when we are in ice-free waters again but we did not see the time running. From now on we should be OK with the ice until our next stop.

Tournage et prises de vues depuis la vigie - Photo Delphine Maratier
Taking images from the spreaders for a better view
(Click to enlarge)
June 16th, 2008, 23h50 UTC
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

Greenland, Qeqertarsuatsiat.

Today, the team came back to its job about global warming investigation.
We had decided to split the group in two parts to get the witness of three generations. Two of us went to the old people house and the others went for a trek and a picnic with a group of teenagers with their teachers.
Old people are not aware of global warming; they are mainly worried about the cultural choc wich had changed their life.
Adults and teenagers are aware but more because they heard about it. Adults are agreeing the summers are warmer and they are happy with that. Teenagers are ready to make efforts but more about garbage.
All of them with no exception are wonderful people, open minded, joyful, curious. It was a fantastic day.
After the trip, the group came onboard for a visit.


Teenagers from Nuuk visiting the boat after a field trip - Photo Delphine Maratier
Teenagers from Nuuk visiting the boat after a field trip
(Click to enlarge)
June 15th, 2008, 21h00 UTC
(Onboard time = UTC - 2)

Greenland, Qeqertarsuatsiat.

4 AM, the anchor's chain breaks the silence of the fjord. We cast anchor next to the village. In the distance the generator sings slogans of civilisation. The sky is clear, the warm light of the polar night makes colors of houses brighter. We're in Greenland.
We did sail already a 2471 nautical milles (4600 kilometers) from Tromsø. We spent the day relaxing, resting, cleaning. It is already late when we go on shore, the afternoon is getting old. People give us a warm welcome, they are curious to know our story, faces are smiling. A helicopter goes back and forth to supply the new rubbin mine with material. The pilots, Jens and Allan from Danemark and Norway pay us a visit in the evening and give us contacts and advices for our stop in Nuuk. Just a beautifull and friendly meeting. Tomorrow we stay there.


Photo Delphine Maratier-Around North America
Qertarsuatsiaat, Greenland
(Click to enlarge)
June 14th, 2008, 23h50 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)

We had just passed the stripe of pack ice which is streching along the coastline. We're sailing again in ice free waters. We're only at 18 nautical milles from our landing point in Greenland.
1 PM, our first pieces of pack ice are in sight. The fog is still there, the rain too. The wind blowing from the North West oblige us to enter the pack ice by its packed side. With this fog, climbing in the mast doesn't help to see
the entire ice field. The chart from the morning indicates a clear zone where we're going, it works, we cross the belt of ice with no problem. During the passage, the wind blows the clouds away, the fog disappears and the summits of the mountains welcome us to Greenland.

Photo Delphine Maratier
Arrival to Greenland
(Click to enlarge)
June 13th, 2008, 22h10 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
60°52'N - 051°09W

The rain did not stop since yesterday. Our universe is made of grey. On deck everything is soaked but in the inside it's warm and confortable. When crew members come back down below after a manoeuver, a warm soup
is waiting for them. Seated on the floor, they enjoy the most confortable place of the saloon when the boat is rolling.
Only the team on watch is on the deck watching for ice and steering. The others speak, cook, read, sort out pictures or look the charts.

June 12th, 2008, 23h55 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
59°10'N - 048°12'W

We're heading north again. The temperature fell down these last hours and the fog is still there since yesterday. These two parameters could tell us there is ice in the vicinity if we had no ice charts. The radar helps us to watch for icebergs but is helpless for the pack ice which is far too low on water to give any echo with this wawes. Eyes watching is a must.
The rain is heavier now and we feel confortable underneath the dodger, well protected and still in contact with elements. We're starting to read carefully land maps to identify our landing zone. It will be probably around 62°N due to ice conditions.

Photo Laurent Ceresoli

Shooting at the front
(Click to enlarge)
June 11th, 2008, 22h20 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
59°02'N - 42°07'W

We have almost reached the southest point of our trip in this Atlantic Ocean for this year. Within 45 nautical miles we will be able to turn the bow Northward.
We are sailing at 8 knts, under rain and poor visibility.
We began to watch for ice but we didn't see any as yet. We're staying away from the big fields to keep the advantage of our speed downwind but it will be too long to clear fields of icebergs and scattered ice. We're carefull because with two spinnaker poles in front we need time to manoeuver in case of alert.
Giulio, our youngest, is not disturbed at all by this non stop rolling. He "talks" more and more every day and invents new conversations.


Giulio, le petit mousse - Photo Monica Larizza
Giulio, the youngest crewmember, ad ease in this new environment
(Click to enlarge)
June 10th, 2008, 23h30 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
60°12'N - 37°48'W

The ice on the south west part of Cape Farvel is spreading up to 65 nautical milles off shore. It will be a long way to make it clear. But we did not reach that far.
Right now, we got light winds again. The predictions promises us some downwind, we're pleased of that. The rythm on board is given by the watches. Every shift is the occasion to share a moment with the other team before to jump in to the berth. No boat in sight since our departure. The temperature slighly fell down, we probably had entered the East Greenland cold current.

 Vibe Knut
Watch shift
(Click to enlarge)
June 9th, 2008,22h20 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
61°55'N - 033°50'W

Nothing special today, steady wind, steady sea, we're enjoying the present.
We start to guess when we will see our first iceberg from the East coast of Greenland.
While sailing South the night gets darker and darker. It's not totally dark but we are obliged to switch the compass light on.
Strange for us, we did not get darkness anymore since end of april...

Photo Gabriel Pitras

"En route" towards Cape Farvel
(Click to enlarge)
June 8th, 2008, 22h30 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
63°30'N - 028°11'W

We had spent our day in the midlle of the low pressure. No wind and a big sea gave place to sea sickness. Half of the crew was valid. Now we got wind again and colors are coming back on faces. A good meal put definitively this day to the rank of the souvenirs for the poor
Tomorrow all hand will be on deck again.

 Vibe Knut
Seasickness the first day
(Click to enlarge)
June 7th, 2008, 20h00 UTC (Onboard time = UTC)
64°07'N / 022°36'W

The bay of Reykjavik has already disappeared to the horizon.
We have a poor visibility. 35 knots, downwind, push us toward Greenland, our next destination. We set sail it was 5 PM. Since this morning, every one runs to get rid of eveything who have to be done before departure. Shipping parcels, mailing, E-mailing, taking a shower, burning CD and DVD, clearing custom, etc.
For the departure, we had a present who will help us to open all doors during the expedition and hopefully the one of the North West Passage.
Our stop in Reykjavik gave us the opportunity to meet a lot of people in relation with our mission. All of them was kind enough to answer our questions.

Crew members of the expedition at Reykjavik - Delphine Maratier
A gift, wich will open us all the doors
(Click to enlarge)
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