Help for Heroes Arctic Expedition
7 Aug 2012
The Help for Heroes Arctic crew has written to us with an update on their expedition so far:
The Crew from Headley Court arrived in Reykjavik on 22 July and so far have made it up the coast to NW Iceland. The most recent ice reports from the Danish Meterological Institute reveal the passage to Greenland should now be possible, as the ice has melted sufficiently in the last few days. The steel hulled yacht HMSTV Discoverer will leave NW Iceland for the journey to Greenland early on Saturday morning. Ice changes quickly in these regions at this time of year and only last week the ice had not melted sufficiently. The percentage of the water to be covered by ice, is now beneath the recommended 30 percent.
Conditions have been relatively kind to the crew so far, apart from a strong nip in the air needing a few of the Musto base layers and mid layers overnight, the last few days have been sunny and warm sailing. The winds have been relatively light and this has given crew a chance to adjust to living conditions. We have been sailing mainly with the larger sails the Yankee 1 and the Full main sail to make the most of the wind which has been an average of 15 knots. The wind direction has been been choping and changing and this is expected for this part of the year.
Shortly behind us is UK sailing legend, Tom Cunliffe who is also hoping to make the journey after his last attempt thirty years ago failed. We have been in radio contact with him and hope to meet in Scoresby Sound, as we should both be arriving around the time.
As we head now from below the 66 degrees boundary for the Arctic Circle to above 70 degrees latitude North we will be on the look out for ice around the clock. We expect to find ice about 60 miles from here and will be maintaining a look out from up the mast when needed, to find a way through the broken ice. All crew are well and with some careful consideration on the sleeping arrangements and sufficient space, injured and non injured personnel are enjoying the trip. We have seen some amazing landscapes including glaciers and volacnoes and variety of wildlife including whales, dolphins and puffins. JSASTC is also faciliating the crew to gain some RYA qualifications onboard as we go.
Currently crew are making the most of the showers and swimming baths here in Isafjordur before we head offshore…! To follow… a report and photos with glaciers and ice!