Monday, 24 August 2009

Day 15 – 21st August

Geeezs what a crazy night!
We left the fjord late afternoon to head back south to the new mooring line. However as we left the mouth of the fjord we cruised slap bang into the side of the biggest continuous ice floe I have ever seen. Unbeknown to us the piece of ice that had originally stopped us from entering the fjord, before moving slightly to let us in, had decided to move back to its original position whilst we were working on the glacier, blocking an easy exit! It took the entire night and until about 10am the following morning to finally break our way out. In some places the boat had back up at least 8 times before we broke through! Trying to sleep through all this was an experience. Although ear plugs pretty much kill the noise there is nothing to stop you feeling like there is a jack hammer under your bed whose sole purpose is to throw you out. Even taking a shower and drinking a glass of orange juice need you utmost attention unless you don’t mind falling over or spilling your glass everywhere!
Never minding the slight discomfort, it did provide plenty of excitement and some stunning pictures of the orange glow of the midnight sun streaming down on ice that surrounds you for as far as the eye can see. I shall definitely put the pictures up as soon as I can for you all to see.
Due to the ice delaying us, not a vast amount of work got down today with only a couple of moorings going in and a trip to the Hans Island weather station being completed. However there has been some good news. The trip mascot Hans, who as you may remember broke his legs, has made a full recovery after extensive surgery carried out by the Yvonne, the ships nurse, and five minute epoxy. His speedy recovery meant he was able to make the trip in the helicopter to Hans Island with the weather station team. Here he was fixed facing north to one the rock cairns allowing him to look over his namesake island and the Arctic until he is picked up again in a couple of years. Lets hope he survives and does not lose too much of his paint in the 40 knot winds!

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