Monday, 25 July 2016

Teddy at Thorshaven, a giant fishing boat up the slipway behind and above her threatening her with annihilation ! Only place we could tie up in this crowded harbour.

Photo by Jim

Assessing the trip.

On arriving at the Faroe, with deep unease I was obliged to review our ability to sail to Jan Mayen & Greenland.

Adolf was seasick  a 3rd time. The first two were prostrating with each episode lasting 2 days til we got to land, and recovery was not quick. The last time he was a good bit better. His seasickness could not have been foreseen - it has never before happened to him. However, this pattern of debilitating seasickness destroys the reliability of his contribution as crew.
I found Rene to have little understanding of the sea.  His contribution is essentially as a steerer.
Neither Jan Mayen nor East Greenland have docks. Landing is exclusively by dinghy. These regions are subject to fierce squalls. The dinghy is also useful for other things, ie laying out a kedge anchor, which may be invaluable in emergency situations. I have observed all crew rowing, and have no confidence in any of them in squally situations. I really would like to have at least a 2nd person who can row with skill and power.
Travel through ice is a further complication. Gales in the Denmark Strait are common, and one must be expected on each transit of the strait. The demands on Jim & me in a 24 or 48 hour gale in ice are unacceptably high.
In short, I was obliged to come to the conclusion that this crew is unfit for JML & East Greenland, and that we cannot go there.

I have discussed all this with the crew.

The plan now must be circumscribed by what I feel we as a group are able to do comfortably in my view.

We will do Iceland, most likely go around it. Many things of interest en route.
With lots of time ahead, we may also return via the Outer Hebrides.

The original plan remains a possibility, but that is perhaps wistful thinking. If between here & Grimsey Island, north Iceland (and an excellent jumping off point for Scoresbysund), the performance of the crew gives me a lot more confidence, I will reconsider.

It has taken me a week to understand this, to make peace with it, and to carry on with this new perspective.

I hope to get to east or northeast Iceland from here. The nearest point is 220 NM. The forecast is for contrary, mostly moderate winds for the next week, so it could be all beating upwind.


  1. Nik,
    We read with interest your very informative blog on the challenges faced on voyage of Teddy 2016 and all who sail in her.
    Trust your instincts.....
    Keep safe
    BR Tony

  2. Go with your instincts Nik, just keep safe and do what you think is best. Amanda x

  3. Go with your instincts Nik, just keep safe and do what you think is best. Amanda x