Meriah's Log

| Voyage to Greenland | Gulf of St Lawrence | Labrador Sea | Davis Strait | Greenland Map |

Date Location Log
11 June 2000    
11 June, 20:00 Z 45:24N 60:09W We got off a day early, all jobs were finished and there was a good forecast. John stowed away an amazing amount of food, he has it hidden all over the place.
12 June, 23:05 Z 48:15N 59:20W I am using "Zulu" time (same as GMT) which is Toronto plus 4 hrs and UK minus 1 hr.
After a good sail last night the wind left us today and we are motoring, probably through tonight also.
It is still quite cold, 5 deg C last night and the same forecast tonight. That doesn't sound too bad but it gets to you sitting in the cockpit on watch.
We are eating very well, John is a good cook and an experienced sailor it 's quite a change having an extra pair of hands to do things.
Forecast still sounds good so we will keep going all the way to Labrador without a stop if possible.
14 June, 2:00 Z 50:19N  57:43W I am on the 11 pm to 3 am watch so an opportunity to send an email. Have to be careful not to wake John
Through the day we were running before a light SW wind yesterday only doing about 3-4 knts but resisted the temptation to use the engine. The wind steering system is working beautifully even with a light wind from astern. Motoring now through the night. We should reach the Straits of Belle Isle by the end of daylight tomorrow which is where the icebergs start so will have to make a decision where to pull in for the night.
Still very cold at night, there are no clouds and almost a full moon.
This coast is almost deserted at this time of the year. In another month you can expect to see a few yachts
14 June, 10:00 Z 51:41N 56:31W We are anchored in Carroll Cove on the south shore of Labrador just west of Red Bay. This is our first stop since leaving Sydney, a four day trip.
Had a fantastic sail today with 25knts from astern, in fact we had quite a time getting the sails down coming into this little deserted cove.
Still very cold but we haven't seen any icebergs yet. The land is still partly covered with snowdrifts because of the cold spring.
It will be nice to get a full night's sleep tonight instead of standing watches.
15 June, 17:00 Z 51:58N 55:48W We had a quite night in Carroll cove, a very snug anchorage.  We decide to stop for the night because we are in iceberg waters but so far we haven't seen very many.
Presently enroute to Battle Harbour Labrador. We'll be able to do some laundry there and top up the water tanks. Then a short hop to Fox Harbour to fill up with fuel. 
Wind is still favourable from the SW and we are making good progress.
16 June - 17 June 52:16N 55:35W We arrived in Battle Hbr last night. Another great sail from Carroll Cove, wind 20 knts from SW and we flew along. Sydney to Battle Hbr in 4 days is going some.
This is the third time I have been here and I am received like an old friend. For those who don't know, this is a reconstructed town and a great place to learn about the history of the fishery and the lives of the people in Labrador. It had just opened for the season and we were the first sailboat to arrive. Within minutes we were enjoying showers, beer and typical Newfie hospitality. This is John's first experience of a Newfie welcome and he was impressed to say the least.
We will be here for a few days, doing some jobs on the boat and waiting for a weather window to cross to Greenland.
The plan is to go straight out from the coast for about 100 miles to get clear of ice then turn north towards Greenland. The ice near southern Greenland is too bad so we will head for the capital Nuuk.
18 June, 19:00 Z 52:29N 55:29W We left for Greenland from Fox Hbr this afternoon. There is a good forecast for two days which is the best we can expect. We visited my friends the Pooles in Fox Hbr this morning and were treated to a traditional "jigs dinner" of salt beef and boiled veg, very tasty
This is the challenging part of the trip - about 750 miles to Nuuk. We cannot go further south because of the ice.
20 June, 12:30 Z 56:04N 54:40W Winds still holding from SW to SE, 10-20 knts and the forecast OK for tomorrow. Last night we cleared the last of the ice off the Labrador coast and there were lots of small growlers which don't show up on radar so we spent the night keeping a look out with the spot light. We should be clear now to Greenland - 480 miles to Nuuk
21 June, 14:00 Z 58:14N 54:14W No wind for the last 24 hrs so we have been motoring. We are in for some excitement before we get to Nuuk, there is a low crossing our path and the forecast is for 35 knts from the SE. If we have to have strong winds then this is the perfect direction.
The nights are getting rapidly shorter now, only about 5 hrs between sunset and sunrise and it never gets really dark. Nuuk is below the arctic circle but I doubt there will be much night when we get there. We should be in Nuuk on Saturday morning.
I have been talking to another sailor on the radio - Willy Ker, a 75 year old Brit who is sailing by himself from Ireland to Greenland. He should arrive in Nuuk just after us. Willy is quite a legend in sailing circles and has written a book about sailing to Greenland and Iceland. I
I have also been talking to another legend, Herb Hilgenburg who is on the radio from his home near Toronto every day providing detailed personal weather forecasts for boats in the Atlantic. He talks to every boat individually and is on the air for 4-5 hours a day. His forecast are very accurate and some people plan their whole route based on Herbs's advice.
22 June, 14:00 Z {not given} The heavy weather came as predicted, about 30 knts SE, not quite a gale. Meriah is handling it well, we have the sails reefed down and the wind steering is performing well.
Willy Ker, sailing from Ireland, has rounded the south tip of Greenland and is only about 150 miles from us. We should get to Nuuk about the same time.
ETA Nuuk is still Saturday June 24th, during the day.
23 June, 15:00 Z 62:37N 51:57W Land Ho!
When the fog cleared this morning we got our first sight of the rugged coast of Greenland. It looks very forbidding.
After my last message the wind kept rising and most of yesterday we had 35-40 knots from the SE - a whole gale. We were lucky it was SE which meant we could keep going in the right direction. We had minimum sail up and the boat handled everything superbly. We spent a lot of time below with the windvane doing the steering and the boat rushing along at over 6 knots.  Today we have light winds, the waves have gone down, the sun is shining and this magnificent coast line is drawing nearer.
We will probably anchor for the night when we reach the coast and then go on to Nuuk on Saturday. Nuuk is about 36 miles further on up a fiord system.
June 25 62:37N51:5W We are still in the same anchorage at Qornoq, the weather is great and this  is a beautiful spot.
I went for a hike today, climbed the 1000ft hill which is nearby. It was quite a struggle, almost rock climbing in places. The view from the top was amazing, I could see into the interior which is a permanent ice field. There were turquoise lakes everywhere. Took lots of photos.
Willy Ker arrived today and anchored next to us. We had him over for dinner and John excelled himself with some poached sea trout we were given in Labrador. Willy is a typical British character/eccentric.  He's sailed all over the world and seems to have lived in most places as well. He is revisiting the coast of Greenland to update his cruising guide to the area.
Tomorrow we are off to Nuuk the capital of Greenland.
June 26   20,00Z



64 10/51 44 We arrived in Nuuk this afternoon and immediately  reported  our arrival in Greenland to the harbour master. He picked up the phone and told someone that two men had arrived in a sailboat from Canada. That was it - he didn't even ask us our names!      We rafted off a fishing boat then headed out for showers and a laundromat.  We showered at the Seaman's Home which is a chain of very clean middle price hotels originally set up for seamen but now in general use.  While I waited for my laundry I bribed a bunch of kids with a bag of crisps so they would relax for photos.  The people are a mixture of Danish and Inuit so you see every mix of facial type and colour.   I am taking a lot of photographs.
Nuuk is an unusual place, it is dominated by dozens of low rise apartment buildings all painted different colours. They are scattered all over the very hilly town. It is hard to tell the apartments from the shops etc because they all look basically the same and the shops have hardly any windows. There are roads of course but also long wooden walkways linking the various buildings - probably something to do with the severe winters. The place seems very prosperous but we understand it is all Danish government money.
June 28 19.00 Z 64 40/52 30 Left Nuuk this morning now on our way north to an anchorage about 50 miles away. Fog this morning but it has cleared now and the weather is great again. Not much wind for sailing but motoring is part of the game.
June 29 12.00 Z   Spent a quite night in another dramatic anchorage. The hills rose to 1500 ft straight out of the water. We had a bit of trouble finding a spot shallow enough to anchor but found a secure spot eventually. Heading about 65 miles today to another spot recommended by Willy Ker.
It never goes really dark now which means we no longer have to plan things around daylight. It doesn't matter if we are anchoring at 2.00 am.
June 30th  18.00Z 66 20/53 57 Well this is it, we are 10 miles from the arctic circle, on our way to the town of Sisimiut (used to be Holsteinsborg).
Last night we anchored on a small bay with a backdrop of mountains and small glaciers. Not the big glaciers which make icebergs - those are still to come further north.
July 1st  18.30 Z 66 57/53 41 You may find  Holsteinsborg on a map, most places have the  old Danish name rather  than the newer Greenlandic name.
We arrive about 11.00 pm last night, in daylight of course.
This is a very pretty town of about 5000 people. The harbour is quite small and we are rafted off a fishing boat.
A Norwegian sail boat just came in on its way south. They have visited some of the places on our list so we will be getting some information from them tonight.
July 2nd  10.30 Z 67 03/54 03 Just leaving Sisimiut, another flat calm. At this rate we will be motoring the whole length of the coast.
We had a delicious steak dinner last night and a bottle of red wine to celebrate Canada Day and our first night north of the arctic circle.
According to the crew of the Norwegian boat we are in for a treat when we reach the Disco Bay area.
July 3rd  14.30 Z 68 16/53 36 We are going through an inside passage between islands. The route is marked by "day marks" which are erected at strategic positions where you have to turn. It's surprising to see such aids to navigation in Greenland, it's just like Georgian Bay in Ontario. It makes for a spectacular route especially since we are seeing more and more ice in the passages as we approach Disko Bay.
We should be in Assiaat (Egedesminde) tonight.
July 4th  14.00 Z 68 50/52 33 We have just left Assiaat (Egedesminde) and are now crossing Disko Bay. This is probably the best known area of Greenland because of the thousands of icebergs which are formed from the glaciers and slowly drift north. I can see huge icebergs in every direction, they are far bigger than the ones which pass by Newfoundland.
We didn't get away until lunch time because of a fault with the anchor windlass (now fixed). We won't get in tonight until after midnight but with the midnight sun, who cares.
We are heading for Ilulissat (Jacobshavn) which is right next to the biggest glacier.   I intend to do some walking and get some photos of the glacier and the fiord which takes the bergs out to sea.
Weather is still sunny and mild and another day with no wind. We have only had the sails up once since Nuuk!
July 5th  0300  Z 69 13/51 06 Today was a magical day
I am writing this in sunshine at 1.00am local time anchored in the harbour at Illulisat (Jacobshavn) The sun is shining and we are watching local fishing boats come and go.
There is a glacier just next to the town which produces a vast number of icebergs and to get here we had to thread our way through a mass of icebergs and bergybits which completely blocked our route. We had to keep doubling back to find a way through, after all, Meriah is no icebreaker!
We eventually spotted a local boat which showed us the most direct route. I shot a whole roll film on the passage through the ice because the experience was so so dramatic.
These icebergs  go north from here than work their way south over a couple of years before melting in the gulf stream.   Jacobshave has certainly live up to my expectations.
Later today  we are going walking to have a look at the glacier in action.
Our position is
July 5th  1800  Z 69 31/50 43 Just got back from a hike to the icefiord. It's one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen, about three miles across and several miles long. The whole thing is chocked solid with ice and massive icebergs which slowly move towards the sea from the glacier at the head of the fiord. You can't see any water, it just looks like a glacier trapped between the walls of the fiord. The whole mass of ice juts out into the sea but cannot get out easily because the mouth of the fiord is too shallow. It's continually creaking and groaning from the stress and every now and then the pressure pushes the leading edge out into Disko Bay - unfortunately I didn't see one of these breakouts.
It was a beautiful sunny day and I took lots of photos so hopefully I have captured the grandeur of it all.
July 6th 2100  Z 69 31/50 43 We left Jacobshavn this morning in fog which made passage through the ice rather challenging. We could see a few hundred yards so it was easy to avoid hitting something but were unable to see which was the best route to avoid heading down a blind alley. Luckily we spotted a local boat towing a barge and going in our direction. We tagged behind him and he cleared a passage for us. After a couple of hours the ice and fog cleared and it was plain sailing.
We were anchored by 1.00 pm in another of Willy Ker's recommended anchorages. I went hiking this afternoon and climbed up to a magnificent waterfall. The view from the top of the falls was breathtaking - lots of photos. We have just had dinner and John has gone out for a hike. He said he wouldn't be back until midnight - you can do that sort of thing north of the arctic circle.
July 7th 1500 Z 69 41/51 32 Set off this morning further north up the Vaigat which is the strait between Disko Island and the mainland. We may keep going to Upernavik if the weather is suitable - about 2-3 days.
Position is 69 41/51 32
June 8th     1200 Z 71 12/55 23 Still surrounded by icebergs, still heading north and still no wind.
We will have to make a decision today on whether to keep going to Upernavik or turn south earlier. There are some interesting places to see on the way south which may be preferable to motoring further north.
June 9th  2300 Z 72 23/55 33 We didn't make it to Upernavik last night, we decided to make a stop at a place called Provia. We came in, in dense fog using the radar and GPS through a very narrow entrance and managed to tie up to the only wharf available. This morning we woke to find we were in a delightful small harbour and village which is the first "real" Greenland community we have visited. There are no tourists here and the people are all Greenlandic rather than Danish.
The place is a real gem with different coloured houses scattered all over the place and is surprisingly neat and tidy. I met the police chief in Upernavik on the wharf, he was visiting family in Proven. He gave me a tour of the community and also lots of interesting information about life in Greenland. He took me to have coffee with his girl friend's grand parents and we invited him and his girl friend back to the boat.
Still no wind forecast, so tomorrow we will probably turn south. We are doing well for time so we will go back down the coast visiting different places, perhaps all the way to Nuuk. this will give us the best route to cross to Baffin Island to avoid ice.
July 11th  2000 Z 70 41/52 08 We are in Umanak or Uumaanaak as it seems to be spelled here. It is quite a large town on a small island in Umanak fiord. The island is one huge mountain about 3500 ft high except for the south end where the town is. You can see the island from 50 miles away. The houses are perched on rocky slopes with wooden walkways connecting them together. There are also roads which snake between the rocks. Every house seem to have sled dogs which are tied up for the summer outside. Every now and then one of the dogs starts to howl and it sets the whole town off! It feels like being in the middle of a wolf pack!
Today was a rare cloudy day so I took a few photos to make sure I had something and we might stay tomorrow especially if the sun is shining.
The latest ice charts show that Baffin Island is still inaccessible so I hope it clears by the time we have to leave Greenland - about 24 July at the latest.
July 13th  70 44/52 29 No email sent on 12th, we couldn't get a connection from Umanak Harbour.
The sun came out yesterday so I was able to get out and take photos of the town and the mountain which dominates the island.
We are on our way to the SW corner of Disko Island. Should get there tomorrow afternoon.
Ju;y 14th  1900 Z 69 16/53 43 We are in an anchorage at the SW corner of Disko Island at Fortune Harbour, strange to see an English name for a change. It is another great anchorage, completely protected from all directions. The bergs and bergy bits can't get in and are lined up outside. It's like that scene from the Day Of The Triffids where the triffids are massed outside the fence waiting for an opportunity to break in.
We got in about 11.00 am local time so I have been ashore on another photo hunt. Greenland is amazing for photos. I keep taking shots of a particular scene involving a hill or an iceberg etc then as I move about I keep seeing better angles to shoot from so I end up with a dozen shots of the same subject. It's a good job I get a charge out of the actual picture taking.
July 15th  1400 Z 68 56/53 46 We are heading south across Disko Bay, sailing for once - actually we still have the engine on idle.
Radio conditions have been terrible for the last few days so I don't know when you will get this. We haven't been able to hear anything on any HF frequency. Something to do with solar flair activity, I have never known it so bad.
Managed to get in touch with Willy Ker on Assent today by asking the Greenland coast guard to find him. He had reach Umanak and will be turning south to Nuuk in a couple of days.
July 17th  2200 Z 67 39/53 38 No email for 16th, the radio conditions are the worst I have ever known. We cannot hear anything - not even the CBC or BBC world service so I don't know when you will get this. It is sitting on my laptop and will be sent the next time we make a connection.
We dropped anchor yesterday morning and in the afternoon we were hit by the biggest storm I have yet experienced. The anemometer was showing 60-70 knots steady with gusts to 80 knots - that's hurricane strength! Luckily the anchorage was sheltered well enough and the anchor was well dug in so we managed OK.   Today we could have left but there was fog and still a big sea running so we decided to stay put for another night.
July 18th 1830  Z 67 13/53 53 Radio conditions are still terrible. the few hams I have spoken to say it is the worst they have ever known.
We are anchored at an island called Sydbay. We hadn't really intended to come here but we developed an engine cooling problem and I decide to stop and check it out. It turned out to be a blockage of kelp in the water intake, probably as a result of running the engine during that storm when all the kelp was being stirred up.
John has gone off exploring and I will probably do the same after dinner.
July 19th   1900 Z 66 38/53 58 It looks like the email is working again and we are
sailing (not motoring) down the coast
July 20th  1400 Z 65 40/53 10 We are anchored in a cove opposite a large island called Hamborgerland but I cannot see a McDonald's. The island is covered with jagged snowy peaks several thousand feet high with glaciers in between - very impressive. I hope to get off the boat this afternoon to get some photos but it is a bit too windy at the moment to launch the dinghy.
Next stop Nuuk then we decide where to cross back to Canada.

The only trouble with all this communication is that people get worried when it stops working. John (my crew) and I are noticeably in better moods when the email works - I wonder how Columbus and Cook managed?

July 21  1200 Z 64 04/52 06 We are approaching Nuuk Harbour. We will be here for at least a couple of days.
May not be able to get out on the email from the harbour.


July 22  2300 Z 63 60/52 44 We have departed Greenland and are on our way across the Davis Strait to Labrador. We haven't decided yet on a place to make landfall but it will be somewhere near the northern tip near Cape Chidley. There was a good forecast so we decided to head out this afternoon rather than wait to tomorrow. Ideal conditions at the moment - 15 knots from the North.
Greenland was all I expected and more. The mountains, the glaciers and the great hiking landscape was to be expected but were impressive non the less. What I found a surprise were the people who are quite sophisticated and cultured. Not just the Danish whom you see all over Greenland but the Greenlanders themselves. I somehow expected an uninspiring people who just survived on Danish welfare. There is obviously a lot of support from Denmark but you don't get the impression of a people oppressed by their way of life.
We are half way through our trip and now we are heading "home" to Canada, Actually I think we will find northern Labrador very challenging. There are strong tides and currents round Cape Chidley and the information on the charts is very limited.
July 23  1500  Z 63 19/55 19 Great sail yesterday and through most of the night then the wind died and we now have a glassy calm.
We are heading for a place called Bowdoin Harbour which is just south of Cape Chidley. It looks like a good anchorage and is described in the cruising guide. We should be there Tuesday evening but I don't know how the very strong tides round Cape Chidley will effect us. We will probably have our first night of darkness for a month so we may have to stand off and wait for light on Wednesday
July 24 th  1200  Z 62 20/58 38 Still crossing the Davis Strait to Labrador. We should get there Tuesday night but I would rather arrive during the day also don't know how the strong tides will change things. We will stand off if necessary to come in Wednesday.
Good sailing conditions, 10-15 knts SE, we are making good progress.
July 25th  0900  Z 60 20/58 38 Hieeryoe    (Ops Tony seems to be having problems)

July 25th   1200  Z 60 20/64 28 Translation of 2nd Message From Meriah.
Keyboard is still messed up the following letters work
ABCDEFGIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.  Cap lock is also struck sometimes so numbers are !@#$%^&*() !
We are in Bowdoin Harbour near Cape Chidley Anchored next to Belvedere the American boat I met last year.  They  had also intended to go to Baffin but changed plans because of ice.  Great crossing from Greenland, some motoring but some good sailing
July 26th   1800  Z 60 17/64 31  


Sorry Tony, this is too good not to share, good luck everyone!.  Sue



July 27th   1300  Z 60 17/64 31 Caps lock seems to be stuck on numbers again
We are still in TUNNISSUGJUAK Inlet
Had dinner on board Belvedere last night.   It's a large American motor sailor with a paid skipper and crew.  There are six people on board and they can sit at least eight people to dinner.  The owner John brings her north every year from Maine and he knows Labrador and the Arctic very well.   It's strange to be anchored in this wilderness area enjoying good company and a great dinner
Belvedere's crew have told us where the Nazi radio site is so we will be going there today or tomorrow   There is fog at the moment and I need to check the drive belt on the engine
July 27th 60 17/64 31 Miserable day of fog and rain today so we stayed put and Belvedere didn't move either
Haven' t heard from Chris recent!y so don't know where or if we will be meeting up
Still haven't seen any polar bears but Belvedere skipper says there was one near the Nazi site so we will have to be careful

I am getting used to this keyboard problem but it's not just the two missing letters there are other strange things going on.  It  was my own fault,  I should have kept the hatch shut in rough weather .  I can't go back and edit any mistakes without losing the whole thing
July 28th  1700  Z 59 43/63 54 On our way to Seaplane Cove about 60 miles down the Labrador coast.
We called in at Martin Bay to look at the Nazi weather station site but the weather was not suitable to get ashore so we couldn't actually land
Great sailing weather today - about 15-20 knts from the NW
July 28th  2300  Z 59 23/63 49 We are in Seaplane Cove I have no idea why it is called that but it is fairly open so is probably a good place to land a seaplane.
We are anchored under a high cliff which should shelter us from the wind but we are feeling the Williwars which is the name for the strong winds which  blow down the side of steep hills Luckily the anchor is well dug in so we should be OK.
Ju;ly 30  1200  Z 58 30/62 50 We anchored last night at the entrance to Saglek fiord and  are now sailing  down a long arm between mountains.  I didn't get this far north last year but it is a spectacular place high mountains and deep narrow fiords.    Great sailing conditions.  There is a warm SW wind and no waves in the fiord I am hoping that the place we are heading to has good holding for the anchor
July 31st  1200  Z 58 09/62 21 Another great sailing day There is still a warm SW wind and we are close reaching down the coast at 6.5 knts The temp is 18C
It doesn't get much better than this
W are heading for Okak near Cape Mugford
August 1st   14.00 Z 57 23/61 48 We spent last night in Okak harbour which is a deserted community There is not much to see but it is a very lush spot for this part of Labrador with grass and trees and there is the usual rather sad cemetry.
The weather has been amazing for the last few days. There has been a warm SW wind which has been great for sailing and the temperature  has been up to 25C
Today we are heading for another spot I found last year about 40 miles away
August 2nd   15.00 Z 57 07/61 20  We anchored last night in a great spot near the mouth of a river which flows out of a large lake. Close by is a sand beach which is unusual for Labrador.
I walked up to the lake which involved forcing through dense bush and was rewarded with a set of impressive rapids which flow out of the lake into the river. I saw some large black droppings which looked a lot like bear but no sign of the owner.
August 3rd   12.00 Z 56 51/61/39 We are going through a narrow passage called Manvers Run which must be gone through at an exact state of the tide because of strong currents. We will be in Nain this afternoon.
August 4th   18.00 Z 56 30/61 43

On my own now, John flew out from Nain. I am anchored in Kauk harbour which is just south of  Nain, the most northerly town on the Labrador coast. I picked up fuel and water in Nain but it has a bad repuation for vandalism to visiting boats so I decided not to stay the night. The weather is miserable so I will probably stay put tonight.
The burner in the cabin heater has failed - blocked solid with carbon. The spare one, which I bought for just this eventuality, doesn't fit, so now I am without a heater for the rest of the trip.

August 5th 14.00 Z 56 21/61 28 Just a short trip today, about 20 miles to a place which looked great on the chart and lived up to it's promise. I am anchored in a small cove beneath a high cliff on an island call Kikkertavak. Most of the place names are Inuit in northern Labrador. I have just launched the dinghy so I am off exploring.
August 6th   1800  Z 55 56/61 05 I have just arrived at the construction site for the new town of Davis Inlet or Natuashish as the Inui call it. I am in the middle of a thunder storm so will have to wait before going ashore.
The town is being rebuilt on the mainland, about ten miles from the present location . The Inui claim that their enforced relocation to an unsuitable site some years ago, is the main cause of the current alcohol and suicide problems. Regardless of the politics I thought it would be interesting to see a town being built from scratch and I know one of the engineers on the project.
There isn't any chart information to get to the site but I came across a barge with construction materials being towed in the same direction and managed to get some shouted instructions.
Just got back from visiting the project. I found a good anchorage and came ashore near the construction camp where the workers live. I met Terry Hann who works for the main contractor Davis Engineering. he gave me a tour of the project and then treated me to supper in the main canteen. The whole project, to provide a complete new town for about 600 people is costing about $140m. Every family gets a modern 2,3 or 4 bedroom house of the raised bungalow type with a full basement. Everything has to be built to modern standards including roads, water and power supplies, sewage treatment, schools, community buildings, shops, airfield and terminal building, wharf, etc etc. It is ironic that many of these facilities will be better than any similar sized towns anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador. The people will not move in until everything is complete - probably another two years. I should have mentioned that it is a terrific location, I guess you can get it right when you have virtually unlimited choice.
Off to Hopedale tomorrow.
August  7th    2300 Z 55 18/60 04 I am just enjoying a rum and coke after a delicious meal of arctic char, I was given some in Nain.  It's a red meat rather like salmon but with a more delicate flavour.  There is another one in the freezer for later.
I am anchored in an unamed cove on an unamed island about 15 miles south of Hopedale.   There is no depth information at all on the chart for this area but I was reliably informed that there is plenty of water and so far so good. I love these wilderness anchorages, you feel as though no one has ever been here before. There is a bar across the entrance with only 6 feet depth at low tide so you have to go real slow.
Position is
August 8th  2100 Z 54 60/58 40 Well I had an interesting day.
Left at first light intending to anchor at the base of Cape Makkovik which is the location of one of the abandoned cold war radar sites. I have promised to try and get pictures for someone who has a web site devoted to the Pinetree sites.  I tried several times to get the anchor to set in a bay near Cape Makkovic but each time it just skipped across the rocky bottom so  had to abandon the idea. There are a couple of other locations I can try further South

Anchored for the night in Rogers Harbour which I also visited last year - there is a photo on the website. This is a really remote location and although it's well protected it's nothing more than a tiny gap between two islands.  Within an hours reach of the harbour  the wind got up to 30 knts and the fog came down. Thank goodness for GPS and radar which took me straight to the 40ft wide entrance.  I could hear the breakers on the rocks either side, long before I could see anything.  It's easy to get stressed out in these situations,  you just have to trust your judgement and your instruments.

August 9th     2200 Z 54 29/57 08 Another non relaxing day in the fog. It was one of those days when the fog came and went in an instant. One minute dense fog, next minute bright sunshine. With ice bergs around I couldn't relax for a moment. Unlike yesterday the wind went into the west and the weather cleared as I came into anchor. I am enjoying a beer in the warm evening sun.
I am anchored in Cut Throat harbour on Cut Throat Island. It's a small version of Henley Harbour further south with abandoned houses. This island also has one of the old radar sites so there is plenty for me to explore tomorrow.

August 10th  2300 Z 54 27/57 13 Shortest day of the trip so far, 3 miles from Cut Throat  Hbr to Indian Hbr which is right next to Smokey Tickle - don't you just love these Newfie place names?
I went for a long walk on Cut Throat Island and took lots of photos of the old radar installations. Not much to see but it means a lot to the people who worked at the sites.
The wind went from E to SW and immediately the fog disappered and the temperature went from 10 to 25 deg,
Just as I came into Indian Hbr I noticed my alternator wasn't working so I have just spent 3 hrs. installing the spare - yes I carry a spare alternator.
August 11th   2200 Z 53 49/56 26 I set off from Indian harbour this morning and my new alternator stopped working 5 miles out, so I turned back and anchored again. luckily it was just a connection which had fatigued with vibration so it only took an hour to fix.
I am anchored in Grady harbour which is just a narrow tickle between islands. A tickle is the Newfoundland word for any narrow passage of water which you can pass through with a boat. A rattle on the other hand is a narrow passage with a strong current. There is also a run which seems to be a very long tickle!
For the last few days I have been surrounded by my favourite seabird - the puffin. These improbable little birds are short and stocky and seem to use a ridiculous amount of energy just to stay in the air. As the boat approaches they skitter across the water with a frantic beating of wings, bouncing off the wavetops before seeming to collapse exhausted back into the water. Add to this their stubby  little beaks which seem designed to crack walnuts and the puffin sure has character.
August 12th  2300 Z 53 13/55 42 I am anchored in a cove in a place called American Tickle. There is just enough room for one boat to swing but the water is 20ft deep within 10ft of the shore so it is ideal. On the way in to the cove I noticed a small community with signs of life so I went over in the dinghy and sure enough it was a typical semi deserted summer community only two of the house were occupied. I was immediately invited in  for tea and pie (Saturday is baking day in Newfoundland) and given the history of the place. It is called Seal Islands and was occupied by 10 families every summer until cod fishing stopped in 1992 and then the place just died. There is a pretty little church, now getting dilapidated, which was also used as a school, because the children of Labrador had a winter instead of a summer holiday. The elderly couple I met had attended the school and were the last couple to be married in the church in 1963. They come back every summer for a couple of weeks holiday. This story is repeated all along the Labrador coast. A whole way of life has disappeared.
August  14th  1300 Z 52 42/55 46 Spent last night in Bluff Head hbr with Belvedere. Went over for dinner and enjoyed their usual magnificent hospitality. The bugs were a real nuisance for the first time so I cut short my shore exploration and set sail thlis morning.
Magnificent sailing conditions today, warm west wind 20-25 knts and Meriah is barreling along on a close reach.
With this wind I might just keep going to Battle hbr, the jumping off point for going through the Strait of Belle Isle, for which you need the right weather window.
August  15  2300 Z 51 60/55 51 I spent last night in Fox harbour which is the place we departed for Greenland  back in June. The place is buzzing at the moment because of the construction of a new road linking the community to the coastal road and the ferry to Newfoundland. I also couldn't pass by without visiting my good friends the Poole family who have been so kind to me during previous visits.
Bypassing Battle harbour I kept going to Henley Harbour to join Belvedere for one last time before we go our separate ways. I nearly regretted this decision because I ran into an unforecast 40 knt head wind plus fog in the entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle. Meriah is not at her best pounding into steep waves so I had a miserable 4 hours before I was safely rafted to Belvedere at the wharf in this deserted community.
Tomorrow I have to decide whether to carry on through the Strait or wait for a better weather window.
August 18th  1200 Z 50 39/57 18 Well I didn't stop on the north side of the Strait of Belle Isle, an unforecast but welcome NE  wind came up so I kept going to the Newfoundland side and spent Wednesday night in Black Duck Cove. I was in there in 1998 and met someone who remembered me from then. Its amazing how many people you get to know round this coast.
On Thursday there was a strong SW wind forecast so I left at 5 am and came to Port Saunders which has a good wharf protected from the SW. It is now blowing quite hard so I will stay here for tonight (Friday)
I am on my last lap now. I plan to call in to see my friend Ted with his dog Theo at Cow head which is one day south of here and after that would like to go straight to Sydney Nova Scotia.
August 19th  2300 Z 49 56/57 48 Just got back from having dinner with Ted and  Theodore (Theo)in Cow head. Ted is an American from North Carolina who lives in Cow head every summer. We first met  in 1998 and I have called in to see him every year since. If you click on Cow head on the Newfoundland map there is a picture of Ted and Theo.
This year we had dinner with a lone kayaker who is just finishing a circumnavigation of Newfoundland. his name is Bernie Howgate (English of course) and he has a web site at
The forecast for tomorrow sounds ideal so I will probably take off for Sydney. The earliest I could be there is Tuesday morning.
August 21st  1900 Z 48 11/59 33 Still underway towards Sydney. The wind yesterday and last night was ideal in fact at this rate I will get to Sydney before dawn on Tuesday so I have reduced sail to slow down and get there in the light.
August 22nd  1200 Z 46 08/60 12 Arrived back in Sydney this morning after quite an exciting overnight sail across the Cabot Strait from Newfoundland. Forecast was for a strong NW but it turned into a full gale.   Meriah handled it beautifully as usual. I even managed to get some sleep while it was going on.
I have logged 4152 miles since June 11 - quite a trip.
I need to do a few jobs on the boat then its home for labour day before setting off again on a two week trip with Amy.
Going to bed now.

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