Week 30 23 – 29 July 2018 Qaqartoq – Augpilagtoq, Greenland 114 nm
23 July Monday Qaqartoq Church Ruin – Unartoq 48 nm
We had a very quiet night in spite the anchorage was completely open to south, south west. There was no wind at all throughout the whole night.
But we had an early start because the Captain from the cruise ship that had anchored not far from us during early morning came and paid us a visit. He brought Baguette and Croissant en mass!
We had a nice chat, drinking a cup of coffee, about the difference in handling a big cruise ship compared to our size of sailboat. We agreed that the charts over Greenland were not good. He promised to give us charts with soundings made by the ship in several of the fjords we are going to visit.
After he had left in his “zodiac” we weigh anchor and motored slowly to a big iceberg just south of the cruise ship to take some photos. A crewmember from the cruise ship came and delivered lots of copies of charts, showing the soundings from the ship. Very convenient to say the least. Looking back at the church ruin behind the cruise ship we saw hundreds of people in read foul weather gear. The ruin was the reason for the cruise ship to anchor. We were very lucky to have visited the ruin yesterday on our own!
Continuing around the corner we found a higher iceberg where we just had to take some photos of Moon in front of the berg. Annika took the dinghy and Björn motored around the Iceberg in the very bright sunshine. Then we continued south through narrow sounds and some open fjords. Coming out of one small sound we looked into the next and found almost only big icebergs. Looked almost impossible to find a way through the ice. But coming closer we managed to find a way using the helm extensively.
We passed two small villages with their colorful houses.
Finally we arrived to the goal for today; the hot spring. Unfortunately we were not alone. People from a Spanish cruise ship occupied the spring and had brought a music player. Not our style and we excused us blaming the mosquitoes and walked back to the dinghy and Moon out on anchor.
24 July Tuesday Unartoq – Nanortalik 25 nm
We knew that there will be gale force wind starting at noon today. We had planned to start early to be able to anchor before the gale started. But it became very early due to our “restless” dinghy jumping up and down in the choppy sea around the boat. Björn was up taking care of that, but as we were awake and the sun was to rise in half an hour we thought as well take care of the opportunity and leave.
Had a very nice trip in rising sunlight with many photo opportunities of the mountains in the rising sun.
We were in Nanortalik and anchored before the weather changed. Looking back into the fjord we just left it was covered in dense white fog.
Took down our bimini to be able to hoist our anchor rider sail, preparing for the strong gale, spiced with katabatic winds from the surrounding mountains.
Had a nap after lunch, not to get the daytime completely wrong due to our very early start of the day.
We got some light rain and fog together with strong north westerly wind. But later the fog disappeared and we saw some blue skies among then clouds. The wind kept on the whole evening.
25 July Wednesday Nanortalik
We slept ok in spite the wind kept on until after midnight when the katabatic winds disappeared and we had only gale force wind. Woke up around seven to sunshine from a clear sky. Had breakfast and a shower before the wind died and we weigh anchor and moved around the peninsula into the harbour where we rafted onto a Swiss boat we had met in Nova Scotia.
They showed us around to find all facilities like WiFi, supermarket and laundry.
The weather forecast for the passage to Iceland doesn’t look good. The big and long lasting high across northern Europe make the lows stall in northern Atlantic, making the weather miserable in Iceland for most of the summer. We just have to wait and monitor the routes of the lows.
Had a nice walk together with Vera and Dominique from the Swiss boat and some very big mosquitoes. Had a beer and WiFi in the Pub/Café on the way back to our boats.
During the evening Annika served a Thai Chicken in Moon for the four of us. A pleasant evening with new friends
26 July Thursday Nanortalik
Sunshine when we woke up, but further west of shore it was dense fog.
There are more boats around us than we have been used to see. Three boats came during late evening and night. Seems to be a crowded year in NW-Passage!
Before noon we moved to the more protected wharf where a freighter had occupied the wharf and now left.
We, being the bigger boat, tied to the wharf and the Swiss boat rafted on Moon. Both boats are made in Holland and have wood core/epoxy composite structure. Guess if we have some interesting technical discussions?
Got shore power on the wharf. Had to switch back the isolation transformer to 220v for first time in four years! We are really coming closer to home!
Had lunch and then took a walk around the village. There is an open air museum, made out of more than ten houses build in mid 1850. Interesting to learn that Greenland have had not only ice since so many years along the southern coast. Already the Vikings came her and settled already 900 something!
The sunny weather was perfect for a walk and some photos, but it was very cold in the southerly wind that came directly from the fog offshore.
WiFi and a “Hof” in the Pub finalized the afternoon. Still no weather for the passage to Iceland.
27 Friday Nanortalik
Fog in the village when we woke up around eight o’clock. No wind and mirror like water in the harbour. Very quiet in the boat all night due to no choppy waves like the night before at the more exposed wharf.
Breakfast and studying the new grib file. Still no passage weather before Wednesday. Better stay here where we have shops, diesel on a floating fuel dock and nice hikes. Leaving Nanortalik there is no supplies until Iceland, unless going north along the east coast a couple of hundred miles.
In the afternoon we took a long walk around the northern part of the village, ending up at the open air museum.
During late afternoon we got light rain. Had dinner and then spent the rest of the evening in the Swiss boat.
28 July Saturday Nanortalik
Sunshine from a clear sky again. Looks like there is a weather window for Iceland on Wednesday and eventually directly to the Faroe Islands.
During breakfast we decided to leave tomorrow to be on the east coast on Wednesday morning, ready to take advantage of the weather if it’s still on. Of course that means we have to prepare everything today. Fuel up, laundry and supermarket. Greenland sells the cheapest diesel we found since Asia! Topped up almost five hundred litres. Now we can motor to Norway if necessary! Laundry at the hotel and in the meantime we paid the two supermarkets a visit.
After dinner we went to the pub for WiFi and a last Hof. Weather still looks like leaving Greenland on Wednesday.-
29 July Sunday Nanortalik – Augpilagtoq in Prince Christian Sound 41 nm
Woke up to sunshine from a clear sky and no wind. We had promised our Swiss neighbors not to leave too early. Had breakfast before we started to make Moon ready for departure. Nine o’clock we were free from the wharf and under way south. Breathtaking views looking at the mountains in the bright sunshine.
We only had to worry for the fog off shore. We were to sail five miles along the coast unprotected from the ocean swell.
It turned out to be ok. The fog was far out at sea and the swell was not that bad at all. Otherwise swell and no wind can be a pain. After five miles we could hide behind a lot of small islands on completely calm water.
The last five miles before the entrance to Prince Christian Sound we had more or less open water again. But the swell was not difficult and onto the stern.
We reached the fjord at half past two as the tide changed to our advantage as planned. Got more than one knot following current all the way to Augpilagtoq where we, shortly before six o’clock, tied up for the night rafting on an US sailboat that had moored only an hour before we came into the very little but well protected harbour. We had an anchor dram together in Moon and learned that they were o route from Sweden via Norway, Faroe Islands and Iceland on their journey back to Rhode Island.
The weather report still looks ok for Wednesday.
Annika & Björn