Aasiaat to Ilulissat

Today began with mandolin, accordion, and penny-whistle jamming on the Aasiaat dock. Grant had met yet another group of old friends, a French climbing team in the yacht behind us, and the young Frenchmen serenaded our departure to ‘What do we do with a Drunken Sailor?’ An entirely theoretical question, in our case! We made…

Warm Welcome in Sisimiut (As Always)

Over the years, Students on Ice has developed a very warm relationship with the people and community of Sisimiut. That warmth has been extended, to our great gratitude, to Arctic Tern and this year was no exception. Earlier today, we found ourselves drifting with a pod of humpback whales. At least 20 of them dived…

Arrival in Nuuk!

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…

Bound for Greenland, Day 6

Winds northwest, 8 knots. Good visibility, partly cloudy, and cold.
57˚48’ N, 51˚28’ W at noon We have seen no boats for three days, but it’s nice to know we’re still not the largest thing sailing these seas. A blue whale just passed us, lazily surfacing its elegant back, which alone outstripped our 47-foot yacht. The…

Ice Behind (For Now) Greenland Ahead

Has it been only three days since we left land? Our watch schedule, four hours on-four hours off, breaks each day into three 8-hour cycles. Off-watch hours are spent belowdecks eating, washing, hanging clothes to dry, and getting as much sleep as the boat’s motion allows before the cycle begins again. Hours on watch can be wet, cold,…