We had as nice a first day out as we could hope for. Everyone was feeling good and the winds were light, but we were able to sail all day and night. We made about 125 miles, but more importantly made it into "iceberg alley", a phrase I just coined. When we looked at the current ice charts of this area, we noticed an area north of St. John that was completely free of ice for at least 60 miles on each side of us. The iceberg chart is comprised of quadrants, 60 miles on each side. The Canadian government has an agency that maps the icebergs daily and reports them to this grid chart. Fortunately most of the icebergs have melted, but many of the quadrants had at least one berg in them. The frustrating thing is they could be anywhere in that 60 mile zone. Anyway, we left and had to watch for icebergs throughout the day as we were transiting two zones with bergs, but by about 11 pm last night we made our way point north and we are now in a zone of relative comfort (supposedly ice free) and we can level out and make our course to Ireland. By tonight we will be even further away and by tomorrow we should be out of the ice reporting area altogether. As long as the icebergs get the same memo, we are all good. Actually we were hoping we would see one during the day light, the photos people have of towering columns of ice in every shape imaginable are amazing. I think by now they are probably not as impressive; maybe just growlers (mostly below the surface) and bergy bits, but the ice reporting agency doesn't differentiate between a berg the size of Rhode Island and bergy bits on the chart. Apparently a large iceberg takes 3-5 years to make it from the ice shelf off of Greenland to this area, so they don't move fast.
At the moment we are trolling a few lines in the water, but considering this area is a famous ground fish fishery, we aren't that hopeful about catching something near the surface. We managed to see quite a few seabirds while we were going around Cape Race, but only one Atlantic Puffin sighting. Otherwise there were more Great Shearwaters, maybe Sooty Shearwaters, Leach's Storm-petrels, Northern Gannets, Guillemots, and plenty of terns.
As of about midnight last night we could only see the distant city glow of St. Johns. From now on it will only be ocean as far as we can see. We don't know of any other sailing boats transiting across at this time, but considering the winds have been so fluky, and this looks like a good window of weather, we expect there are a few others out here with us. We will have our AIS on to let us know if there are any boats in general within 24 miles of us.
Amy on Pelagic
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron