August 12: tides in the fjords of Greenland run the show. They are much more predictable than the imaginary south winds of our former weatherman.
I got up for breakfast and coffee and at 4:30 am we cranked our reliable Perkins. This early in the morning, with the push given by the ebb flow, we sailed quickly toward Sisimiut. The northern sun was offering another of its daily free show .. A rainbow of changing amazing colors that I enjoyed for hours. . We kept going down the fjord at a good pace with the tide help and we even set up the sail for a couple of hours before the wind died again.
Six hours later, the ebb became a flood working this time against us. Close to five knots in adverse currents. We crawled at three knots instead of running at eight. I decided to stop just in front of a glacier. An exclusive anchorage from where my guests went exploring the glacier’s banks. Playing patiently with the tides, we were waiting for the slack and the reverse of the current to keep going down smoothly . At the end of the afternoon, we motored and again with the help of the tides we ran down pretty fast , up to 11 knots, along the “ Soendre Stroemfjord “ until again the tides started playing against us. Time to look for an anchorage. This time , no glacier around to offer some shallow water to drop the hook. Very steep, the mountains slopes dropped down to great depth without offering any suitable spot.
And what about the anchorage guide to Greenland waters? Like the marina directory, at the time of its publication, probably all the glaciers would have gone. We made several unsuccessful attempts . With my center board, I even hit an uncharted rock. Suspicious, I was going very slowly so it didn’t suffer any damage. We just raised it and slowly, backed up the boat. out of troubles. After several other tries, I discovered a creek. It looked deep enough for the shallow draft of Breskell with its center board up. A safety feature that once more, I thanked my father for. No map about this creek but I tried to squeeze in. I used my experiences in cruising the dangerous coral reefs of the Caribbean… I posted Kingsley on the spreader of the mast and asked Dom and Vari to keep a sharp lookout for rocks from each side of the bow of Breskell. Tow Boat US was quite far away, and a grounding here could have had dramatic consequences. Failure was not an option. Very very slowly, we went in. Dry in the mouth, sweaty palms but we made it. The anchor dropped in thirty feet of water… Now a surreal quietness after the engine noise. Paradise with all those mountains around and the protection offered by this uncharted creek.
With Dom and Edgar, we landed my shotgun in hand, ready to get some meat as they show in all adventures movies. At worst a snow hare, expecting a fat deer but going for a musk-ox . Fresh meat for a day, one week or even smoked jerky for a month!
Sadly, there were no life on this island. Not a track, not a feather not even a dropping .
Nothing, except beautiful purple flowers and zillions of mosquitos. For an unexplained reason, these pests didn’t bite. No food, but we had a nice walk around and Dom took some amazing pictures and movies. On board, we had stocked an impressive array of cameras, recorders, microphones etc, but the jewels of the crown were two drones. They flew them expertly to take extraordinary pictures using their camera like a bird’s eye-view of our world. Amazing results! For now, we where in for a quiet night out of reach of any interference from human or nature.
On August 13th, I consulted my tide table. No need to wake up early this morning. High tide was at midday. Free time for everyone: enjoy !
Kingsley and Kiki went in the water. One covered with a swimming burka, the other almost naked. Each one living his/her passion with due respect to the other’s choice. Without hesitation, the burka would be my option. Don’t tell that to my wife!
Dom and Stephan flew their drone.. With Annie and Vari , I took the dinghy to watch all this action around Breskell.
Midday, time to go now if we wanted to play the tide and benefit again from a serious push.
Kingsley , still in the water, cleaned up the kelp wrapped around the anchor. As soon as he boarded , we sailed toward Sisimiut. The last five miles of the fjord were strewn with rocks. They were everywhere. The fog starting to close down along the banks didn’t help either.
With the plotting navigational skills of our three computers and the magic eye of my radar, we were doing fine. Still not the slack of the flood but we made good progress toward the open water with just a small current against us. One hour and fifteen minutes later we left this narrow fjord for the open ocean. Now, let’s go north but still in the fog and “petole”. After a while, the wind came back. Guess from where? Yes, the North again. And very quickly we had to fight once more against wind and waves. A bit of shaking, some horse jumping once in a while but nothing out of the ordinary for a hardened sailor.
At about 8:00 pm we entered the port of Sisimiut. A nice and tiny harbour with a lot of fishing boats and plenty of little motor boats.
Finally, we docked Breskell next to ALEKA ( older sister), a working fishing boat. The crew welcomed us warmly and even gave us some local crabs as a gift. We offered to buy some more. Five pounds for fifty crowns ( around $ 8.00 US). That evening we ate crabs to our heart’s content. Absolutely delicious Greenland crabs. As good as our own Alaskans but much cheaper and coming directly from the cold water around us . Awesome!
Then my crew went on land to share the evening with the natives. It was Sunday and each bar were full of happy faces. There was not much to do around here on the weekend …. So they drank and some even, got drunk !