The final mile
Position report: 75º 34'N 011º 52E
It is 150 miles to be exact but it does feel like nearing the end of any long journey. The kids are getting restless and it is hard to resist the temptation to glance repeatedly at the chart to see if Svalbard - Land! - is yet any closer. For the last 48 hours we have enjoyed the 'Soldier's Breeze' we spoke of in earlier blogs and have made good progress. With it has come a '?????'s Sea' - powerful but grumpy, erratic and often confused; we'll leave you replace the question marks. No prizes for the best answers. We have also spent much of our time recently in the fog so prevalent over polar oceans. Cold, cloying, damp fog that saps temperature from the body. Just now, it has cleared for a while and the sun is out - but there's no heat in it either. Breath now condenses inside the cabin and the water temperature, as it washes over the decks is best described as 'bracing'. The wind, too, is determined to work make us work for the final miles. All morning, its direction has been edging ever further into exactly the northerly heading that we need to follow. We shall end up, at some stage, having to tack westward in order to then lay our final waypoint at the head of the Isfjord - a 50 mile stretch of water that leads to our destination at Longyearbyen. All this means that the distance we have yet to sail is increased somewhat so it is difficult to predict an exact ETA. Suffice it to say that, barring incidents, we should get in sometime on Sunday. That's it, for now. Have a great weekend.