Blog Archive

Friday, 12 August 2016

"No Pressure" -a blog by Rod.

Rod: so, no pressure then. We had been given detailed advice on where to fish, the headland opposite Hesteyrarfjordur in  20 to 30m water and they had even given us their rig - a lethal combination of hooks, weights and line which outweighed ours tenfold. They estimated our chances of catching fish at 150%. Just how much nicer can these people be. Icelandic fisherman telling a bunch of Brits where to catch fish would never have happened during the cod wars in the 70s.

Having caught next to nothing in Greenland (there are no fish in Greenland) a certain amount of expectation was building. Within a minute we had caught something big .... the seabed dragged out metres of line as the boat drifted past and then we had to manoeuvre a 50 foot yacht back into the wind to retrieve the lure. The fulmars gave us up and went to follow another boat. 
Second time luckier, within 5 minutes had a good sized cod followed shortly after by another even bigger. Having nowhere to land them we lowered the diving platform and dragged them in. Duly filleted and eaten tonight. Job done.
Two hours later we were in the small fishing port of Sudureyri, famous for its fish processing plant although we chose to visit the geothermal heated outdoor swimming pool instead.
Nice to be back in Iceland but we were all sad to leave Greenland behind - a land of superlatives. 
I don't think any of us really knew what to expect, the information on Scoresby Sound is so limited, the sailing pilot guide to anchorages is vague at best and we struggled to find safe anchorages wherever we went. We had got lucky with weather and sea ice conditions but the increased temperatures made for more icebergs calving off glaciers and blocking the fjords. 

The simple fact is that not many people would take their fibreglass yacht this far north particularly as Scoresby has a bad reputation for ice and weather. The fact that we got away reasonably unscathed (apart from grounding the boat, been dragged twice onto a lee shore, hammered by katabatic winds and being completely blocked by ice north of Milne land) is testament to Simon's skill as skipper and both Simon and Sally's daring to take it on. Denzil and I were happy to let Simon do the worrying for us and so its no bad thing to be back in safer waters.