Day 5 since our departure from Stromness, in the Orkney Islands. We have covered 750 miles and the winds continue to be favourable. Last night we passed the westernmost part of Iceland and are now less than 500 miles from Cape Farewell – Greenland’s southernmost point. At this time of year, that is an area of iceberg concentration, brought south by the East Greenland Current. If our intended course is blocked by ice we may have to pass 60 or even 100 miles to the south. According to the latest ice charts, this may not be the case and we may not be forced to dip that far south. But there seems to be much ice along the inshore portion of the coast, so we decided not to stop in Southern Greenland, as most harbours and bays are still blocked by ice, but continue nonstop to the capital Nuuk (still 900 miles away).
I really cannot believe just how lucky we have been with winds and weather so far. We have had favourable East and South-East winds in an area where strong prevailing West and South-West winds are the norm, and the prospects for the following days look just as good. Such a spell of favourable winds in late spring, early summer, probably explains how one thousand years ago Viking navigators managed to sail this very same stretch of the North Atlantic and discover in the process Iceland, Greenland, and even Newfoundland, which they called Vinland. They had thus landed in what we now call North America.
Click here to read more of Jimmy Cornell’s blog, Blue Planet Odyssey.