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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Heading into the inner fjord

Heading into the inner fjord

We spent Friday night anchored off the village of Ittottoqqoromitt and had a few hours ashore exploring this frontier town. Released from the ice in July it has a few short weeks to re-supply before the Autumn storms move in during September and then the long, hard winter. The supply ship is due in from Aarhus, Denmark, on Tuesday and that is said to be a time of great celebration as the first fresh fruit and vegetables will be landed for 10 months.

Brian Black (s/v Seafra), whom we had met in Husavik last summer, was anchored there ready to sail back to Scotland. He and his friend Eric had been cruising the inner fjord this summer and gave us a lot of tips about anchorages but warned us of mosquitos. They had the bites to prove that these were no false warnings.

We met the two Dons who had flown in with their Feathercraft K2 double kayak and had been paddling around the north shore of Milne Land. They were retired Canadians who seemed to have paddled most places.

On Saturday we welcomed aboard two boat handlers, Peter and Tom, who had been driving the logistics boats for Tangent Expeditions. They had dropped climbers off in the Cathedral Ranges and we're taking some well earned leave in the town. Sadly the town had closed down for the weekend and not even a shower was possible until Monday! We enticed them out to our anchorage for a hot cup of tea and cake plus some respite from the cold wind which they seemed to appreciate. They were heading back to Constable Point which is their HQ for the summer.

In town we checked out the supermarket and Nanu Travel and informed Jasper the policeman of our presence. We took a walk up to the weather station where they launch the weather balloon twice a day. Eric was the resident meteorologist who suggested persisting north easterlies were likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

On Friday evening s/v Imram arrived with 6 French crew. They had left Isafjordur a day ahead of us and had spent a couple of nights anchored on the Blosseville Coast where they had been quite un-nerved by a couple of polar bears swimming around their boat. They would soon be leaving for Isafjordur.

A chilly breeze blew most of the night we spent at anchor and most of Saturday but died away on Saturday afternoon. We pumped 150 litres of diesel out of our new tank into the main fuel tank and had no need to take on more fuel. Our crew are turning out to be very frugal water users so we didn't need to go through the difficult task of ferrying out hundreds of litres of water which would have been substantial task. A shame though that the showers were closed!

Heading west we dodged our way through a dozen or so grounded ice bergs on the north side of the fjord before passing the entrance to Hurry Fjord and more open water. Our plan is to sail over night and anchor on Bear Island on the rising tide during Sunday morning.
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