by Guest Blogger
July 18, 2005
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the real Arctic Sunrise. The most
famously rolling of the Greenpeace ships. Picture a giant half egg
floating in the ocean – that’s basically us.
Our ship’s hull was built
without a keel so it won’t be crushed if trapped the ice, but that
doesn’t improve the crew’s comfort level in rough sea.
Not to throw
numbers at you, but on the wind/sea scales, here’s how it’s gone so far
today: 7/7, 8/6, 7-8/6, 7/6. The Beaufort wind scale goes up to 12.
Eight is classified as a “fresh gale”, which sounds pleasant enough, but
means up to 40-knot winds. The sea state scale only goes up to nine,
and at seven the seas are officially “high”, meaning 12-20 foot waves.
In reality it wasn’t too rough for most of today, but when we turned and
started taking the swell on the beam (from the side) it certainly woke
Fortunately, the deckhands were busy yesterday, and last
night, making sure things are properly tied down. In a way, a little
rough weather like this can be a good thing as it makes you appreciate
calm seas all the more when you have them.
Ice is nice
That said, we are all happy to have reached the ice edge again since a
blanket of ice calms the waves. We’re now about 50 miles from the mouth
of Kangerlussuaq fjord, and just starting to wind our way in through the
sea ice along the coast.
The water here is lovely calm, and in the
distance I can see Gunnbjø Feld, Greenland’s tallest mountain.
With the sea ice you also find more seals and the like. I’m up on the
bridge with my laptop. Arne and Cath (both on watch) have spotted two
seals just while I’ve been writing this. Time, I think, to turn off my
computer, and spend some a while this Sunday evening seal spotting myself.
[I snapped the photo above from the bridge. That’s spray coming over the
bow, and up the anchor pipe.]