Disassembly And Refit Plans

It all started with six weeks of intense work last June stripping the deck for painting.  Every cleat, every track, every fitting and every hatch came off and slowly a 10’x20’ storage unit filled with boat bits.

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.

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.

Shetlands And Iceland, 2003

Well, we finally made the break from Norway and leaving was as hard as we expected it to be. Especially since we left the coast at Ålesund, one of the most beautiful of Norwegian cities and especially beautiful in the long golden light of late evening with a perfect rainbow framing the city thrown in for good measure!

Leaving Norway, 2003

Our last newsletter ended with our decision to spend a second winter in Tromsø. What a good idea that was: We cemented the friendships we made our first winter and made new friends; we improved our skiing, though we are still nowhere as good as the Norwegians; and we realized that Tromsø, Norway, and Norwegians, have worked their way into our hearts.

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.

Lofoten And Vesterålen, 2001

Well, Morgan’s Cloud came to Tromsø, and so did winter. We tied up at our winter berth last Saturday, October 20th, and were greeted with 6″ of snow over the next several days. Needless to say, we were hoping to have at least a week’s grace to get the boat ready for winter before the snow came.

Arrival In Norway, 2001

We are finally in Norway after 14 months of trying—we initially sent off our application for temporary residence in May of 2000 and we received our permission, ten months later, in March of 2001, just as we were leaving our winter home at St. Katharine Dock, London, England.