Update from ICEBEAR // July 21, 10.00
As I am typing this, I am sitting at the farm house in Sweden watching the tracker on the website, curiously waiting for the next update from Andy & ICEBEAR via the YB tracker or the Sat phone. Now I know what it feels like for the families back home, following the progress from the home. The tracker and the new messages we have been posted along with it is a nice treat for us not being onboard, and I thought I could cut together a short blog with some updates from Andy.
It was a nice slow start from Lunenburg, and the first night out Andy sent a message reporting 'it’s very light wind now, and we’re headed in towards the coast.We’re only making 4.8 knots, and not exactly in the right direction, but it’s very pleasant anyway.
The new jib is great. Exactly like the small jib on ISBJORN, same relative size and shape, and will be SO MUCH better going to windward. We’re underpowered now, it’s only blowing 9 knots apparent, but when the wind gets up later on this week it’ll be sweet.‘
But they knew that the light wind was not going to last. The next night out it was still very light wind and they turned on the motor to make any progress through the night. ‘We’re motoring now completely, just took the mainsail down cause it was just flopping around. Beautiful clear night though, big bright moon, lots of stars. Laura & Max just came off watch and said they saw lots of whales and seals right around sunset! There is a cruise ship off to starboard and we can see the lighthouse on Cape Sable. We’ve gone 91 miles since leaving the dock at 915 this morning, so nice progress even though we’re not really sailing ‘
The wind then filled in Saturday morning and Andy wrote ‘Tom & Bob are just cleaning up after dinner, and dolphins came by to visit us. REALLY foggy right now, a wet fog, but sunny overhead. The wind finally started to fill in and we’re sailing now after 31 hours of motoring. Nice and light wind, but still going 7 knots! This new jib is great.
Saw tons of wildlife today. First, we saw some basking shark fins like a few hundred meters away. It was flat calm and we were motoring, so we moseyed over to have a look. We got kinda close, and then stopped the boat. There were three basking sharks (which are cousins to the whale shark, big and scary looking but they eat plankton), and they were HUGE!
Then, less than an hour later, there was a fishing boat on AIS right in front of us, and they called us on the radio, we motored over right next to them, like within a boat length, and four or five fisherman in bright orange rubber foulies and all beards and smiling were waving at us and chucking fish guts in the water. About a thousand of those little birds that stick their heads underwater were swarming around, and there was a feeding frenzy of freakin GIANT tuna eating on the scraps the fisherman were throwing in. I didn’t know tuna could get that big! They were like 7 feet long, bright blue on their backs and silver on their bellies, with yellow spiky fins on their tails, beautiful bright fish and they were thrashing around fighting the birds for the fish scraps!’
Now the wind is up and it looks like on the GRIBs that the wind will stay for a few days, upwind sailing all the way to the Delaware Bay. I keep follow them on the tracker and patiently wait for the updates from Andy and the crew.