Sunday, 29 January 2017

Arctic Blog: Friday 7th October - 'Værfast' (Ymerbukta)

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Friday 7/10/2016 2°C, Ymerbukta. 
20m/s; Sunrise 09:21 – Sunset 18:06. 
Sea state – moderate; wind speed 7-8, gusting wind, speeds of up to 20 knots predicted. 


Grey-green sea, small waves break the surface.
A hint of spindrift. 
Mist hovering, mountain shapes disappearing re-appearing. 
We are moving yet going nowhere. 

Last night the boat was moved closer to the entrance of the fjord, but despite two anchors we've been pulled half way back to where we originally moored on the northern side of the fjord. In the morning we reach a speed of 0.5 knots despite two anchors and 270m of chain out.

The wind howls and gusts; a lull before it starts again. This isn’t a full blown-storm, force 7 is not so much - a moderate gale - but for this sailboat it is and we can't venture out into open sea, can’t leave the safety of the fjord, we are ´værfast´ so we stay put. 

We anchor. Some of the hardier amongst us jump into the sea from the boat with ropes tied around their waists. Not for me, therein lies madness!

A small break in an otherwise grey overcast featureless sky. I make out dark shapes of mountains, no detail. It clears a little; snow on peaks, a few tiny buildings - trapper huts - on the shoreline. 
Waves racing towards land, white foam breaking, swirling, twisting. 




Colours change. 

Close to land there’s a strip of brown sea, on the far side of the boat the sea is a pale blue. The glacier reappears in front of us. 



Later, an apricot glow in the sky over the glacier, the sea looks much greener. 


On deck I make four paintings, well they make themselves as paint is blown across the paper by wind, washed by rain. 
ink, charcoal and pastel washed with rain
pastel and charcoal and rain water
ink, pastel and rain
charcoal and pastel with rain water
Early evening the sea becomes brown; a heavy sky, cloud and mist moving rapidly over the mountains. Every so often a loud gust of wind sweeps across the sea sending large waves racing shore-wards. 
The air is full of sound – anything that’s loose is moving, banging, rattling.

Click on link below to see short film I've posted on Vimeo:
https://vimeo.com/201751970?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-cliptranscode-201504&utm_campaign=29220

In fading light I am drawing composites records of our movements. 
Very small drawings in a cut-down sketchbook.



 I start to worry I might run out of paper.

Early evening we travel back to the southern shore, and anchor. A few hours later it’s clear that a single anchor is not holding us, a 2nd anchor goes down; we are still stuck in the fjord Maybe we will escape tomorrow. 
The northern lights put in a brief appearance.