Winds southwest, a gale of 40+ knots. Thank goodness we’re in the harbour!

Arrival in Nuuk was nothing if not spectacular.

All day we’d been nearing the strange blue lumps on the horizon. What could they be, that didn’t move in a world of perpetual motion? Sweet southern winds sped our passage, but the sea turned foul when she realized we meant to escape her. As the barren rocky archipelagos that guard Godthåbs Fjord appeared, wind was whipping rain in our face at more than 30 knots. Watch schedules forgotten, we all gathered on deck to feast our eyes on the first land in days, meager as it was. We rounded a peninsula and Nuuk appeared, brightly painted buildings standing out against the blue glaciers behind.

The next hour was a battle with wind and waves to bring us in, through ferry routes and past the shoals, to the modest Nuuk harbour, sheltered behind warehouses and a transport ship loading dock.  We sidled up to a blue pilot vessel, which is in turn tied to a green fishing boat, a downtrodden wooden yacht, an aluminium trawler, and an enormous tug. If any of these boats wants to depart, it will be a major operation to move all the other vessels that are clinging to their outer gunwales. By midnight, we had tied up safely in Greenland and we rushed to huddle in the warmth down below.

– Graham May

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