Avon Dinghy

Our 16-year old Avon dinghy may not be much to look at, but it just keeps on floating! The bottom is covered with patches necessary after many rocky beach haul ups, not to mention being used as a pusher boat to move growlers in Greenland, but the pontoons still hold air for at least a few days before softening. We know it’s time to replace this dinghy, but plan to go with an inflatable, soft-bottomed Avon again.

Greenland 2003

Our last news letter was written from Isafjørdur on the northwest coast of Iceland where we were getting ready to cross Denmark Strait to Greenland. This comes to you from the Bras d’Or Lakes, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The intervening 2000 miles and seven weeks have been intense, rewarding, and yes, stressful too.

Our Furthest North 2002

We last wrote from the west coast of Spitsbergen. From there we continued north visiting several anchorages, the most interesting being Virgohamna from where André left on his fatal attempt to reach the North Pole in a balloon. The dry Svalbard climate has preserved the remains of this expedition, and the slightly later Wellman attempt, so that it looks as if they left ten years ago, rather than a hundred.

Finnmark And Arrival In Svalbard (Spitsbergen), 2002

As I write this we are anchored in a small harbour formed by an old moraine, on the west coast of Spitsbergen, about a mile from the snout of a glacier. It is very different than Greenland in that the glaciers are much less active (smaller ice cap) and so we can get a lot closer to them. There is a bit of ice sloshing about with the tide, but generally small pieces, so not too much of a worry.

The Dark Time, 2002

The sun has returned to North Norway and we are out sailing again, although there is little sign of spring yet: The locals say that if you can walk on the crust of the snow on June 15th it will be a late spring! Yesterday was our first sail of the season, a boisterous beat into 20 to 25 knots through a wide fjord surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Beautiful, but we were glad to get in and retire below to the heater.