Just before 11 o’clock local time, the sun came out, the mist cleared and almost exactly ten days after our departure from Stromness in the Orkney Islands we caught a glimpse of Greenland. We are now sailing at a safe distance parallel to the West Greenland coast as the area is still encumbered by ice and stopping anywhere en route does not look feasible.
During the night we passed the critical area south of Cape Farewell, but kept well clear of it to avoid a large area of ice concentration as shown on the ice chart published by the Danish Meteorological Office (the red area in the diagram shows solid ice).
We have not seen any icebergs so far, only some small bits this morning, but there must have been some near when the water temperature dropped suddenly from 7.2 to 4.2 degrees Celsius. There was not much we could do as we were sailing in thick fog with less than 100 metres visibility at the time; we had no choice but to trust our radar.
The winds are still perfect, now blowing from NE at 10-14 knots, and we are close-hauled averaging 6 knots. With still some 300 miles to go Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, we are looking at an ETA on Friday. It is almost impossible to believe, but since leaving the Orkney Islands 10 days ago we have had easterly winds of various strengths, and none of the dreaded SW or W winds in an area where those winds prevail throughout the year. For ten days!!!
I can only call this Arctic trade wind sailing!
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