The winds continue to be favourable, and we are making very good progress. Tomorrow morning we should be close to Cape Farewell, Greenland’s southernmost point, and we shall launch the first of the two weather buoys that we have been given by Meteo France on behalf of the World Meteorological Organisation. We have been asked to deploy it in the area of the East Greenland Current, a cold current that sweeps through the Denmark Strait separating Greenland from Iceland. Along the way it picks up icebergs calved by the glaciers along Greenland’s coast and carries them southwards. It is believed that one of these collided with the Titanic, and as from tonight we shall start keeping an eye out for icebergs, mostly by radar as visibility is still very poor.
After two days of an entirely deserted ocean, with not a ship anywhere near, last night we had company: we had picked up on our AIS the tanker Maersk Edgar when it was still 36 miles away. As it was getting closer we could see that we were on a possible collision course. Soon afterwards we were called on VHF radio by the officer on duty, who informed us that he was aware of our presence, and that he was altering course to pass behind us. He also warned us that he was going to start sounding his foghorn every two minutes as he was entering fog, and that we should not panic.
Today is my granddaughter Nera’s birthday. I called her on my Iridium satphone and told her that I remember vividly the day exactly 15 years ago when we were sailing from Tahiti to Hawaii, with Ivan and my niece Marianne, and we received the news of her birth. This time I am also sailing with Ivan, but the surroundings could not be more different: for the last four days we have had cold, damp and misty days, the air temperature is down to 8 degrees, as is that of the water, and last night we had to put on the heating for the first time. Nick and Ivan, both now awake, join me in wishing Nera a happy birthday!
Click Here to read more of Jimmy Cornell’s blog, Blue Planet Odyssey.