Winds picked up to steady 20-25kts. We were flying along at ~7kts when the autopilot and control of the rudder went berserk. After looking at it for an hour, we decided to limp into Moorehead City NC and work on this and other repairs safely in harbor.
We were finally able to cook and eat our first meal at sea. The seas calmed down a bit and all three of us were feeling well enough to wolf down some lasagna. Watch was uneventful, not much wind so we were motoring through the night.
Things have calmed down a bunch. The wind has dropped to under 10kts, so we furled the jib and cranked up the diesel. We passed Charleston and the associated commercial traffic around 04:00. The rest of the crew was finally able to get some decent sleep, I’ll get mine after my watch. So far we have kept a course of 66` around 12-15 miles offshore.
We set two sails once we cleared the channel shortly after 13:00 and I took over with the first watch of the trip. Great winds, but the waves are rocking the boat heavily and all of us are a little queasy. Within two hours we saw a pod of dolphins, and shortly afterwards had a turtle (on her way back to the from laying eggs I suspect) swim within 10′ of Alchemy.
We have cast off the lines and begun our journey northward.
If you want to check in on me, this page should show my location up dated about 4-6 times aday
Boat was provisioned yesterday, everything is shipshape, we are casting off
the lines as soon as we pick up a jug of engine coolant and some batteries
for the Garmin InReach transmitter!
Things are on schedule, looks like we will have some wonderful winds and
currents for the journey Northward!
3 days before I left for Iceland I was offered the opportunity to crew on a sailboat sailing from Savannah Georgia to Bar Harbor Maine. My first thought was – There’s no way I can pull this off. I’m going to Iceland in March. then I’ve got Eeyore’s Birthday Party in April, then Burning Flipside in May, then my sailing trip in the BVI’s (that was postponed because of hurricanes Irma and Maria) in June. I weighed in the positives and negatives while I travelling in Iceland and decided that this is another chance of a lifetime opportunity that I just can’t pass up. The captain, Roger Noble, is a seasoned veteran that has done this trip multiple times. The vessel, S/V Alchemy is a proven blue water capable vessel, having done this voyage several times before.
So… Tomorrow, I’m hopping on a plane to Savannah and boarding Alchemy, a beautiful 42′ Cheoy Lee schooner. Wednesday we plan to provision the boat, and Thursday, weather permitting, we cast off the lines and head north up the Atlantic seaboard for the ~1000 mile passage to Bar Harbor. Wish me luck, this should be another experience of a lifetime! I’ll keep things updated when I can though I expect to be out of cell phone range for most of the trip.
Took a leisurely leave from Vik this morning to make our way back to Reykjavik. Stumbled upon Seljalandsfoss, which happened to be one of the waterfalls on my must do list. This is one of the ones that you can walk behind. We were soooo glad to have good rain gear, without it we would have been thoroughly soaked! Checked into our hotel in Reykjavik around 3, with plenty of time for a bite and to clean up for the symphony. Haarpa is a magnificent concert hall, so many wonderful angles and views. We attended the world premier of Edda II: The Lives of the Gods. Wonderful symphony that I would have been able to appreciate a little more if I could have understood a single word that was sung. Back to the hotel to get ready for our early morning flight back to the states.
Big but very relaxed day today! We left Djúpivogur very early in order to make it to Skaftafell for the ice cave and glacier tour. On the way we stopped at Jökulsárlón Lagoon and Diamond Beach for some more iceberg viewing, Today, the tide was coming in very quickly and the icebergs were flowing back into the lagoon. It was dramatically different than it was yesterday, spectacular both days though! The Ice Cave and Glacier tour was everything I hoped it would be, Arctic Adventures gave us helmets, crampons and ice picks. After a 45 minute ride in a tundra bus they broke us up into groups of ~10 people so that we could experience the wilderness without crowds. The Ice cave and Skaftafell glacier were amazing, this is expensive but is a MUST DO item if you can make it happen on your trip to Iceland. There are three animals that live on the glacier, 2 ravens and an arctic fox, we were visited by one of the ravens while hiking around, she was really cool. After the tour, we checked out the waterfall at Skaftáhreppur on our way back to Vik. Hoping for an active aurora on the beach here in Vik tonight!
Headed East from Vik and into just about every weather pattern possible in 40f temps. We had drizzle, rain, drizzle, beautiful clear skies for sunset, then were socked in with fog. Stopped on the side of the road to play in the moss for a bit, that was really neat, it was like walking on clouds! I want to roll around on it in warmer weather. Jökulsárlón Lagoon was spectacular, lots of icebergs floating down the river into the ocean, great scenery. Diamond Beach was delightful with chunks of ice of all sizes washed up on the shoreline. They truly looked like large diamonds scattered on the black sand and rocks. Further East and North, we saw reindeer on the sides of the road, getting close enough for some pretty good photos with my phone! The landscape changed near Djúpivogur from gentle slopes easing into the water to steep mountainsides dropping directly into the water. We were able to catch a beautiful sunset on the coastline before the fog set in. Made it into town just in time for some wonderful fish and chips next door to the harbor and processing plant across from out cabin for the night. Excited about the Ice Cave and Glacier tour tomorrow!
Woohoo, no closed roads today! Headed North out of Laugarvatn to work our way around the Golden Circle. Strokkur exploded for us several times, got some great photos. Gullfoss was exactly what I thought it would be, powerful impressive multilevel waterfall with hundreds of tourists around it, still a great must see experience. Stopped in to explore Hjalparfoss, we had the entire waterfall to ourselves. There were only 4 other sightseeers while we were there! Drove a gravel road with Hekla in our sights and white lava rock covering the landscape. This would have been a harrowing drive in blizzard conditions. Made it to Vik and found the last room at the Einarsstadir Homestead for a reasonable price. The innkeeper, Andrew, was extremely friendly and directed us to a good restaurant and pointed us to the beach trail for some introspection and stargazing. The massive black beach is a quick 5 minute walk from Einarsstadir. We headed to the beach right after sunset passing some old earth huts built near the edge of the cliffs. It was almost a religious experience watching the skies turn from light blue to deep dark blue, then to black with thousands of stars shimmering at us. While sitting on a rock outcropping both Kat and I were bombarded by a bird that flew overhead, scoring direct hits on both of us. Kat tells me it’s good luck to have a bird shit on your head. I’m not sure if I believe her on this one! Vik is a neat little town, I’d really love to return in the summer when the Puffins come back to town.