English summary Canada – Greenland

During our trip we met so many people who don’t speak German, that we decided to write summaries every couple of days in English. I know I do lots of mistakes when writing in English so I would like to excuse myself in advance;-).
After I traveled from Germany to Portugal, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, the Caribbean and Bermuda, we arrived in Halifax, Canada in mid May. We found a very nice Marina at Armdale Yacht Club just north of the city center and spent some very nice days there. After we were hit by a gale when we came from Bermuda, everyone tried to help as best as he could and after a couple of days not just the boat was ready to sail again, we also found friends in Halifax.
When we left Halifax, heading for St. Johns at the est coast of Newfoundland, we repaired almost everything, just our VHF and the old outboard engine were left on the list of repairs. We had very nice wind when we left Halifax and after four days of downwind sailing in the fog we arrived in St. John’s. This was much faster than expected and we found a berth in the industrial city harbor for a couple of days until the weather was better and we moved to Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club at the western side of the peninsula. As soon as we arrived there we found helping hands all over the place. It is impressive how helpful the Canadians are and I hope I have learned from them. We did our final preparations for the crossing, bought a new outboard engine and replaced all connectors of our VHF. When we left one week later everything was repaired and we were well prepared for our crossing to Nuuk, Greenland. After one day we saw the first ice bergs of our life. There were three bergs within a couple of hours, which was a bit scary so we took down the sails at night until we passed the outer ice limits from the Canadian government charts. Two or three days of very nice sailing followed until a storm was approaching. The first indication was the air pressure falling to 995 hPa. There was almost no wind until the low passed and the pressure started rising slowly. At this point the wind got more and more until we were in a severe gale, I guess more than 45 knots of wind. After our reef in the main sail broke, we had to put it down and decided to put out the sea anchor to reduce drift and safe our energy for the following days. Just a couple of hours later we capsized while the sea anchor was tied up at the back of the boat. It looks like a big wave has turned the boat around and the second one hit us from the side. Luckily nothing serious happened and we just had minor damage below deck, none above. I decided to get the anchor in and drift without it while steering downwind by hand. Six hours later both, Clarissa and I, got the back of the boat filled completely with water when a wave was coming over from the back. Our clothes were starting to get wet and it was horrible cold so I decided, that we will hove to and wait below deck until the storm passes. Although I knew that this may lead to another capsize, I think it was the best because both of us were getting colder and colder and at the same time lose the energy. It was dark anyway so it was almost impossible to see the big breakers early enough. The boat did a good job until the early morning, when we were hit by a big wave again. This time it was worse. If we look at the oil, that found its way out of the bilge, we come to the conclusion that we must have been almost upside down. The engine oil that I forgot to clean out of the engine bilge was all over. Books, sun blocker, shampoo, everything found its way from one side to the other. To make it short, it was horrible. I went up to check the rig. It was still everything on its place. Tought boat.
Half a day later we raised the main, another 12 hours and we put down the storm jib to raise the working jib. We started cleaning the boat but we were unable to clean everything. That has to wait until we arrive in Greenland. We lost couple of miles in the storm and had still 600 to go. We were down with our nerves but there was no way to turn back and the following days were, although the air pressure was most of the time around 1005 hPa, easy sailing and nice weather. Two days before we arrived in Nuuk and after the fog was gone we saw many ice bergs. We saw Greenlands coast for the first time and we felt warmer, safer and much more happy. We sailed the last 250 Miles with much more enthusiasm and when we arrived in Nuuk we forgot almost every bad moment and bad weather during the crossing. The only bad thing that remained was to clean the boat. Now, after everything is clean and repaired, we are heading further north up to disco bay, were we will turn and sail back to Europe.


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