Sunday 1030 AM September 7, 2014 (64o 00’N 60o 12’W): Back in the fog
Lillian is on track headed due south, with expected landfall in Labrador in approximately 625 nautical miles. We have chosen to follow the longer, more direct path home, keeping us well offshore for the next couple of days. The route is far enough offshore to avoid the icebergs that track down the coast, while near enough to catch the Labrador current that flows southward, adding up to 1.5 knots in our favor, a significant boost when doing only 4 to 6 knots through the water. Currently, our longitude is nearly 1/3 of the distance from Canada to Greenland out across the Davis Strait and our latitude is almost exactly that of Nuuk, where we first arrived in Greenland back on July 16th. As before at this latitude in the Labrador Sea, the day has brought fog. It is not thick, making it possible to see several boat lengths around the boat but without the dim glow of the sun shining through from the east there would be absolutely no sense of direction. The sea and haze form a bowl around us, and if it weren’t for the GPS, we’d have no concept of where we are.
It would be very relaxing sitting in our cocoon of fog, as the sea moves steadily by, except the wind and waves combine to deny any possibility of a smooth sail as the boat gets jerked around. The winds are from due north, with is good given that we are headed south. With the wind from astern, we have the main sail out to port, and the genoa out to starboard, referred to as wing and wing. The foot of the first is supported by a metal boom and a corner (the clew) of the later is attached to a long pole in an attempt to convince it to stay reaching out to starboard. This helps stabilize the configuration. Unfortunately, the following waves create a rocking and rolling motion and the sails flap, or even more aggravating, occasionally the wind catches the loose edge of one of the sails and flips it over, like the leaves of a book on a windy day. The resulting motion and noise as the sails flip-flop make it hard to cook an egg or even write a blog. Still, we remind ourselves to be grateful that there aren’t high winds and waves on our nose and that we are making steady, if not smooth, progress.