Before leaving early morning at the end of July, I called the port authority to get back my shot-gun. They handed it. With a smile. How they manage to survive without guns is part of our local travel experiences. Still, it was already mid day when we cranked the engine after the last shopping trip and the last internet message.
We left the dock and went out to the exit setting up our main sail. No luck! Right in the narrow channel, a Norwegian cruise ship was coming in.
No way to pass her in the channel. She was huge and had no room to spare for us. Good seamanship practices dictated to back up and give her the right of way.. Twenty minutes later we finally left. We quickly set up the gib; but as quickly, the wind died. So we <<iron sailed>> with our trusted Perkins engine. I decided to keep motoring awhile to get out of the coast before the night. When, later, the wind piped up again, I set up the autopilot and finally we were sailing at about 6 knots under pilot and a beautiful sun. We cannot expect any better conditions for our return at sea.
We saw a few whales today but nothing to compare with the sighting we have done the day before we reached St John.
At 5:15 PM, we saw our first iceberg far away on our port side.A pretty big one. Impressive. And dangerous. But so beautiful. We better keep a close watch at night now… Sailing is no joke anymore. We are now entering dangerous territory. Oceanex, a local maritime company has recently been having a rough time. Its encounter with ice resulting in large dents in her bulbous bow after hitting growlers in this area. Growlers are “small” chunks of ice floating south. While smaller than an iceberg, they clearly can do a lot of damage. On those metal ships, you can use new plating to reinforce the hull. In my “home-made” wood and epoxy boat, I don’t have this option. We need now to keep a sharp look out and avoid at all cost this kind of mortal kiss? I gave my crew some specific recommandations.