High Latitudes

Question: Would you cruise the high latitudes in a fibreglass hull? Answer: There are two parts to the answer: Depends on the fibreglass boat, and depends on the area of the high latitudes. (On this last I will restrict my thoughts to the Arctic and North Atlantic since I have no Antarctic experience.) Given that [...]

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Question: Do you know if it’s possible to circumnavigate Scandinavia via Holland, the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg, the Belomorsk Canal, the White Sea, the Norwegian Coast, returning to Holland? Answer: It has been done. I think the UK Cruising Association did a cruise in company that way some years ago. The tricky bit is the [...]

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Question: What is your experience with changing crew in Greenland?  Should we plan to go to the large airport at Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord) to pick up new crew? Answer: We have changed crews in Greenland at Nuuk and Sisimiut. I have never been into Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord), but it does not sound like a problem, [...]

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Question: What charts do you recommend for cruising Greenland? We have C-Map charts but they have insufficient coverage. Answer: By far the best charts for Greenland are the Danish ones. Don’t get US or British Admiralty charts; they are not anywhere near as good as the Danish charts. I believe that Blue Water Charts in [...]

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Q&A: Newfoundland To Iceland Direct

Question: Is heading from the Strait of Belle Isle towards a point about 200 miles south of Cape Farewell, then heading towards Reykjavik, a practical strategy given your experience with wind, weather and ice? Answer: I have never sailed to Iceland without stopping in Greenland, so have no experience with this strategy. I think you [...]

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Q&A: What Is The Middle Pack?

Question: I am planning a passage from Cartwright, Labrador to Disko Bay in Greenland leaving about July 1st. You wrote that I should watch out for the ‘Middle Pack’, please explain. Answer: The “Middle Pack” is the tongue of ice that reaches down from Baffin Bay into Davis Strait and sometimes as far as the [...]

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Question: We plan to sail from St. John’s, Newfoundland mid-June straight to Sisimiut, Greenland direct, if possible. From there spend July and August sailing slowly to Cape Farewell from where we plan to leave bound for the Azores. Any comments? Answer: The passage to Greenland is perfectly doable in mid-June as long as you don’t [...]

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Question: What can you tell me about receiving Greenland ice charts by satellite phone?  Is it a good solution and more reliable than weather fax? Answer: We have had problems getting ice information reliably by weather fax too, but unfortunately satellite transfer does not completely solve the problem either: We have an Iridium and a [...]

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Question: How easy is it to get money and shop in Greenland? Answer: ATM machines in larger towns will give you Danish kroner on your card. Provisions are surprisingly good in the larger towns, although fresh vegetables are hard to get and the price of what is there will curl your hair.

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Q&A: Circumnavigating Greenland

Question: I am wondering if you know whether anyone has circumnavigated Greenland in a sailboat. Do you think it’s possible? My guess is that global warming has changed things up there and it may now be possible. Answer: As far as I know, Greenland has never been circumnavigated in any vessel. If memory serves, the [...]

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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. Ammassalik, on [...]

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