Mail from Anne-Margaretha to Greenland

4 August 2016

Anne-Margaretha sails to Greenland and past by Jan Mayen yesterday.

Everyday we’ll get the last updates! Here one of them!


Arctic Sailing 2016

Day 6 – First ice berg, first whale

“ICEBERG off the port bow!”

Thankfully the sea is pancake calm as we are now entering iceberg territory. We were 120 miles off the Greenland coast when we spotted our first patch of low floating tabular ice about two miles off the port bow. Disconcertingly it didn’t show up on the radar so our best weapon is now the human eye and a decent set of binoculars. The weather is set to remain calm throughout tomorrow before the wind strengthens from the south on Friday afternoon. We want to be through the ice by then and safely moored in Itseqqortoormiit. The plotter shows us 20 hours away so this should all be possible.

With all this excitement it’s hard to remember the start of today but I will try… OK, so at 12 midday I was woken to a lunch of fresh cod (the catch of yesterday) which they had made a sort of fish stew with tomato and ginger. It was amazing… two big fish fed the whole crew, but without seconds so Will has been instructed to catch three next time!

Then we had some of last night’s bread and started to prepare dinner (cauliflower/macaroni cheese). Then I had a nap. After my nap I woke up and ate dinner… yes, today has been all about putting back on the pounds that we lost in the first 24 hours of sea sickness.

I’m writing this from the night shift, it’s midnight but not dark, it’s never dark, but for the first time there is a slight hint of night… it’s got a bit ‘less light’. We’re at 70 degrees north where there is no dark for May-June-July and no light for November-December-January. This means that we have to gain an hour of darkness roughly every three or four days over the next three months to transition between these two states. Good news for those hoping for a glimpse of the northern lights! There’s more than a nip in the air and, even though as first mate I mostly get to hide in the warm chart room, I’m in thermals, buffalo and gloves.

In other news, we’ve seen another whale… though we’ve no idea what kind. Generic black whale with tail, fin and spout – not a humpback, blue or sperm – one of the other kinds.

There was drama on the afternoon watch when Will and Ian caught a Fulmar in the fishing line. With the help of a sheet (to cover and calm the bird) and some strong hands the bird was freed and seemed non-the-worse.

Love to all at home,


One talented wordsmith of the crew also had time to pen this masterpiece of a poem – send in your guesses if you have any idea who wrote it…

Colours of the Sea
You might believe the world at sea is mostly grey and blue,
but look a little closer and you’ll see that isn’t true,
the clouds are mostly yellow and the light that’s breaking through,
is often silver, sometimes orange or with a purple hue.

The oilskins that my friends wear are often garish red,
with cheeks to match and fingers that are tipped with white instead.
Their boots are brown with salty crusts. We don’t mention the smell.
You could say that their language is quite colourful as well.

The ice it’s true IS mostly blue, but can be pink or green
with algae growing on it like a raspberry sauce ice cream
the food we eat looks just like when we bought at the stall
though the vomit in the bucket can be any shade at all

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