Home > Blog > Spitsbergen 2013 > Blowin' old boots

Spitsbergen 2013

An online log of Atlantis' travels and adventures to Svalbard

Blowin' old boots

Posted by admin on June 26, 2013

A salty old seadog would merely have muttered '...bit blustery last night...' and nothing more; but, for the sake of translation we'll explain that we really had a most uncomfortable overnight passage. Lady Magdalene was still watching over us and the day dawned (if that's what you call it when the sun never sets) bright and still. After a quick swim, again for one, to do what we could to check the errant fitting on our propellor shaft, we said our farewells to the Sysselman's Field Inspectors who are going to miss the polar bears that patrol consistently when Atlantis is in the fjord, and weighed anchor. The forecast was for a breezy 20 knots which we knew from the outset was likely to be on the nose; thus requiring us to tack to windward and cover considerably more than the straight line distance between two points. Even so, we only had 48 miles to cover to Ny Alesund - a mere skip.

Soon after leaving the fjord at midday we began to realise that St Magdalene might really be a siren - once mariners have been ensnared by her charms she makes it very difficult to escape. The weather closed in and the breeze started to rise. The same thing had happened when we tried to slip her clutches northwards to Virgohamna. This time, less than half an hour out, the engine's impeller failed which put the engine out of action for the rest of the trip. Sails up anyway,we headed on. As the wind strength rose, we changed down through the sail range, took reefs in the main and tried to steer as close to the wind as possible without losing speed. As the confused swell grew too, the autopilot became less able to cope and we reverted to hand-steering for the rest of the night. With each long tack out to sea, or back in towards the shore, the wind's direction oscillated to our disadvantage. As the wind strength's forecast 20 knots maximum came...and went, our tacking angle became ever less efficient. At some stage, a concurrent gust and drop off a steep wave put sufficient stress on the headsail to simultaneously fracture three of the hanks that attach it to the forestay. A wet foredeck sail change ensued and we ended up under storm jib and fully reefed mainsail. With Lady Magdalene's henchmen continually heaving freezing (2.8 C actually) water over the decks and cockpit, damp seeped [gushed] into every seam of clothing. Long forgotten drips returned as steady rivulets in the cabin below. A larger than normal wave from behind engulfed the heater exhaust again and it shut down in pique for the night.

By 0400 the reality was that on each tack we were losing any ground made by its predecessors. No volume of cocoa can mitigate the sense of futility this can catalyse in tired minds. If it hadn't been for a minor shift in the wind direction we might still be there now. At long last, a final tack in towards the shore showed some prospect of making the mouth of the Kongsfjord and spirits lifted. The wind died, sea flattened and all became less unpleasant. With the calmer waters it was possible to effect a rapid replacement for the engine's impeller, a few minutes later the heater exhaust had been drained and in a cloud of steam it roared into action. We closed the final five miles to Ny Alesund 27 hours after leaving Magdalene Fjord as if it had all been just a rather bad dream.

So, to sum up - 'twas a bit blustery last night.

Postscript - many trips suffer from the fact that the photographic records of the journey illustrate only the perfect moments. We have been determined to ensure that we would depict the rough with the smooth; the bad with the good. In the cold, fatigue, wet and general discomfort....we forgot. Sorry.


Posted by T on
Got the gist even without photo's...b..... miserable and for a looong time too. That's the difference between an adventure and a holiday I suppose. Glad all safe now x
Posted by David Watters on
Getting anxious - long time no log!
Posted by Travisinisk on
viagra and blood pressure viagra non prescription does viagra help with premature ejaculation
Posted by Unfitte on
https://newfasttadalafil.com/ - Cialis Broadway Services Viagra Drrkww Gtfhkc Cialis Rx Canada Pharmacy Accutane Throughout the lecture you will learn about infection inflammation and wound healing. https://newfasttadalafil.com/ - buy cheap generic cialis uk Zwaulo There are practical ways that we can promote resilience and growth in others.
Posted by AndrewSig on
Amazing stuff. Cheers.
write my papers for me who can write my paper master paper writers research paper writer
Posted by Harryhic on
Appreciate it, Ample content!
write a paper purchase college papers ai essay writer college paper writers
Posted by Hectorstype on
Kudos. A lot of info.
help me write song lyrics for free essay writers online help me write a resume for free
Posted by Scottmew on
You expressed that fantastically.
online casino in canada best online casino in canada real money online casino no deposit bonus
Posted by ErnestUndic on
Valuable stuff. Cheers.
paying someone to write an essay order custom essay online
Posted by NathanMasty on
Terrific stuff. Thank you!
write my research paper for me reviews website that writes essays for you write my research paper for me reviews
Posted by ErnestUndic on
This is nicely put. !
pay for paper writing pay for essay
Posted by Hectorstype on
Whoa a good deal of great data.
pay someone to write my essay do an essay for me do my essay do my essay
Posted by NathanMasty on
Amazing write ups. Thank you.
can someone write me an essay for free how to write an about me section for a website i can t write my essay
Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.

This site uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the site to operate and have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site will not work.