There she blows
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There she blows

Activ is approaching Island. Captain and expedition leader Jonas Bergsøe describes the life and the adapting that is going on the first weeks of a long sea journey. Also Activ is racing strong winds ahead. A the time of the publishing of this blog post Activ is in the wind. Gale. Going 8 Knots for only few sails. Pos 63 23N - 21 39W at first of July 1247 hour.

Skrevet af Jonas Bergsøe | 30 June 2014
Kategori Activ2014 3. Grønlands Ekspedition | Periode 2014 afsejling Island

Mere om "There she blows"

A fine day for a swim, There she blows!, The race.

It has been a week since our departure from the North Atlantic pier in
Copenhagen, still it seems much longer now.
Sct. Hans evening we were quietly sliding along the Swedish coast. Skagen was passed in bright sunshine with a few scattered cumulus.
The numerous cargo ships anchored off “Grenen” bore a strong resemblance with sleeping giants. Chained to the seabed with rust streaks along their sides, only a slight rolling to give away the fact that they were not fixed structures.
From here a course Westnorthwest, Denmark faded away behind us and
within long Southern Norway grew, ever so slowly, above the horizon to the
North.

The wind changed to the Northern quarter as it gradually increased and soon
Activ was joyfully preforming a dance across the waves. All sails bellowing against the light blue sky, ship soon roaring over dark blue sea, 7-8-9 knots. Topgallant and Flying jib down, still 8-9 knots, farewell Norway – this was a brief encounter. With average speeds in excess of 8 knots Fair Isle appeared sooner than expected.
Soon after Southern Shetland appeared in a haze at starboard. At this speed
Shetlands was to be as brief an encounter as was Norway.

We are still “chasing rattles” and applying chafing gear, the permanent crew
whom are in for the long run are getting to know Activ, seeking out understanding of the language of the vessel. An odd old language, not in the normal sense of the word. This “language” consists not of words, one has to smell, hear see and feel it. Once decoded the sailor has no doubt, she (the vessel) is talking to you.
Like an endless monologue that becomes a dialogue with your interference, the trimming of a sail, applying of chafing gear amongst a thousand other things. In what seems a disorganised orchestra of sounds the good sounds are separated from the bad and the cause of the bad sounds is addressed, little by little the language is understood and a meaningful dialogue can take place.
A good sailor is not just one whom can take a ship to/from port on a sunny Sunday. He/she must be able to undertake repairs of nearly all damages that can occur to a ship or the ships gear. Better yet, the sailor must understand the language of the ship as this will allow, to a large extend, the avoidance of damages. In short, as the
British say, “a stitch in time, saves nine”.

Towards Shetlands it has been growing ever colder, puffins are seen regularly but then there is a shift of winds, to the west and then decreasing.
The clouds are opening, the sun peaks through, first a little then more and more. Soon we are sailing on a glossy sea in near flat calm conditions.

We have arrived at the Faroe banks bathed in sunlight. As the wind decreased we have taken in most sails and cranked on the engine, now we turn it off – it is time for a break. We try our luck with a little cod fishing whilst drifting amidst the slight swells.
It is the warmest day since our departure, the cod does not bite, the glittering sea looks appealing (to most), in spite of it being rather chilly. It is time for a
swim.
Eight swimmers onboard, again, we let the engine push us across the seemingly endless sea.
“There she blows!”, and sure enough, a group of sperm-whales is
sighted ahead. We follow the whales for a while, take pictures, laughs,
exitment, and I am uncertain whether the swimming or the whales is the highlight of the day. Today it is overcast, scattered showers, Southerly winds and good speed thus far.

Iceland lies ahead, a mere 200nm and we shall have cleared the SW-corner.
The forecast suggests increasing winds turning slowly to the West, if the
forecast holds up we may just make it around the corner before then.
The race is on, anyone whom has tried to beat against strong head winds at the entrance of the Straight of Denmark (or in other exposed waters) will need no explanation at to the reason for this race. Those onboard whom has not tried such still has a vivid imagination (likely spurred by the colourful explanations of others) and everyone is now together in this race.
We have a need for speed, trim on the sails, attention to the heading and somewhat more concentrated sailing then usual.

One may not create the world in 7 days, - Alas much can come to pass.