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Old 11-03-2012, 07:12   #16
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

We are currently planning the same trip. The plan is to leave Halifax, Canada (home town) first week of June, spend 3 weeks on the south coast of Newfoundland, than cross to Greenland and sail north in the following month all the way to Siorapaluk and Etah, next we will cross to Ellesmere Island and than we go back home via Coberg Island, Baffin, Labrador, Newfoundland's north Coast and cape Breton Island. In total we plan to be on our way for 4 months, returning in the first week of October.

This will be the third time we make the trip, but we were never that far north on this side of Greenland.

About bears: We have seen quite a few north of Disko Island, they are for sure not all gone from Greenland, but it is true that you can't find them any more in the southern part. We do carry a rifle, I prefer it over a shotgun. We use a 0.308 Winchester type. A trapper on Spitsbergen told me once that you should always aim for the heart, never for the brain. Apparently the skull is so thick that a bullet might bounce off, even if you use a shotgun. I don't know if it is true, the heart is much more difficult to aim for in my opinion, obviously I never tried it and don't have the experience myself. When going ashore we always take smoke pots with us, the emergency firework type. Throw it between the bear and you and disappear in the curtain of smoke. Again, we never had to try it, but were thought by a trapper.

The advice of plenty of fuel is right, we carry 1800 litre and in 2010 we practically used it all before we met a Canadian coast guard vessel that could supply us with some extra. Due to the fact that there is very often light wind in the summer in the waters of Greenland, you use the engine quite a lot. Our boat sails well in 5-6 knots of wind, and usually we don't start the engine in that type of weather. We still did 30% of the distance by engine. There are options to refuel in Illulissat, Greenland and Nain Labrador. If you are lucky you might be able to get some from the villages more north, but do not count on it.

Another thing is your anchor, Greenland is pretty good with any type or size of anchor, but for Baffin and Labrador (especially the Torngat mountain area) I would advice you to bring a big, fat anchor of double the weight that is advised by the manufacturer, type doesn't really matter. We endured winds that were funnelled through the fjords coming from the inland glaciers, they can reach speeds up to 80 knots in the summer, and those are area's where the anchoring ground is often poor.
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Old 11-03-2012, 17:05   #17
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If there no sea ice when in Labrador you will need a shotgun with polar bear loads. Bears are everywhere north of Nain.
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Old 13-03-2012, 06:07   #18
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

OK, I had not considered taking a gun, but you guys and the Lab cruising guide have convinced me to at least look at the paperwork.

I'm not allergic to guns but get a nasty rash when dealing bureaucrats.

Eric, I won't be going as far North as you, that is quite an adventure.

Hopefully I won't need near as much fuel. We carry 150 gallons or 600 liters on a 75 horse engine. I hope to refuel in Greenland before crossing to the other side.

I know your boat is larger, what is your horsepower? 1,800 liters/450gallons is a lot.

For anchors I have:
70lb spade
70lb fisherman
45lb CQR - (from PO)
40lbish Danforth

Lots of line: just bought extra 600ft 3/4 floating line for land ties (haven't figured out how to do that single handed yet.) Also, 600ft of 7/8 double braid nylon for drogue/anchor/ whatever. All spare to normal complement.
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Old 13-03-2012, 06:28   #19
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

We have a 100 hp engine and while running at 7 kts (60%) we use about 6 ltr/hr. Our heater consumes about 6 liters a day. The year that we almost ran out was after being north of Nain and Ilulissat for almost 4 months. I thought / was told that refueling in Uppernavik was an option to, but when I came there I was turned down, there was not enough fuel for the town itself so they did not want to sell unless it was an emergency.

About the long lines, we have 8 of them and usually use two, sometimes three at the same time. 600ft is plenty, you might even consider to cut it in half. For applying them: we usually drop the anchor and sail in reverse towards the "beach", and leave the engine in reverse but at idling speed (make sure your anchor is deployed well!), it will keep the boat in place, than we launch the dinghy and I tie one end to the boat and the other end to the dinghy and drop the whole rope in the water. Than I row to the beach and tie it to a tree. Make sure it is a tree that grows on gravel or sand and not the ones on a rock, those ones can be pulled out of the ground with little force. When you have found a good fixed point, you row back to the boat and tighten the land line, usually I try to make angles with the centreline of the boat of 30 degrees to each side. A shorth length of chain for the first part ashore is not a luxury, we had quite a few chafed ropes over the years.

We have only 2 anchors, a 110lbs Bruce and a 120lbs Delta, in combination with 300 ft 1/2" chain, our boat is 50ft/22 ton. So far we only used the full length of chain once (last year during hurricane "Irene") but in normal conditions 100~150 ft would be enough. Expect anchorages of 20-30 feet of wateryou have to handle when in Greenland, Labrador is generally easier to find good anchorage in shallower water, altough the winds are a lot higher in Labrador. What is your draft?
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Old 13-03-2012, 08:43   #20
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

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OK, I had not considered taking a gun, but you guys and the Lab cruising guide have convinced me to at least look at the paperwork. I'm not allergic to guns but get a nasty rash when dealing bureaucrats.

Just to put this in a little perspective: I am not aware of any sailor/cruiser who has been injured by polar bears up there recently (past decade). I am also not aware of any that have actually shot AT a polar bear - there have been a few isolated cases (I am aware of two incidents with kayakers who were tenting ashore) where they have shot noise makers into the ground near a polar bear. Your decision - you obviously understand the bureaucratic implications.

Lots of line: just bought extra 600ft 3/4 floating line for land ties (haven't figured out how to do that single handed yet.)

Usually people will use that in two 100m lengths. Typically if you are further than 100m from your shore tie you are too far for the best protection (there are of course some exceptions). Shore ties are close to essential in the south but less so in the north (because of different harbour geography/geometry where the normal anchoring and swinging is more common.

I use a spectra strop around the trees/rocks to save the main line from chafe - the spectra is easier/faster to handle than chain/wire.
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Old 13-03-2012, 12:13   #21
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Eric - We are 7ft draft, 44' on deck, supposedly (but not confirmed) 22 tons - steel.

Ice - Floating line is is two 300' reels, some kind of plastic from
7/8" is a single piece (for now) on a an aluminum reel I made.

I also have 300' of 7/8 with a Gale rider, 150' of 10mm anchor chain with 100~150' of
1-1/8(?) poly for normal rode. I have some additional 10mm chain I will bring along.
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Old 13-03-2012, 12:21   #22
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

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Eric - We are 7ft draft, 44' on deck, supposedly (but not confirmed) 22 tons - steel.
7ft is great, it gives you the option to sail some inside passages. The coast of Labrador is re-surveyed in 2010 by the Canadian hydro-graphic services and it gives you the option to take some inside passages that were risky on the old, poorly surveyed maps. The "original" maps were from 1860 and only few places were updated.

We draw 10 ft and have to miss a few inside passages (around low tide), and therefore let go of a change to escape upcoming ice early in the season.

The rest of your gears sounds fine, I think you are pretty well prepared!
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Old 23-03-2012, 18:40   #23
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Anyone else been watching the weather off Kap Favel??

Seems to me it's been kinda dicey up there.

Not having experience I was wondering if this was "normal" or not.
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Old 24-03-2012, 06:32   #24
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Yes I have
By looking at the weather now, you can make a prediction of the ice-situation later in the year so I'm watching it every day.

It is pretty extreme right now. The weather at southern Greenland is comming from South East Canada, all the weather systems are pushed over the Canadian maritimes and either bounch off north over Labrador or cross to Greenland and Iceland.

What is happening now is pretty extreme. Here in Halifax for example: yesterday was 28 degrees celcius(!) the highest ever recorded around this time of the year was 11.7 degrees and 3-4 is the average. Some comparable things are going on in other areas of the Canadian and Greenlands' Arctic.

If you are referring to the winds of 55 knots that are there right now? Yes that is normal. But don't worry, the area that you want to visit is very calm in the summer, 20 knots of wind is considered to be a lot on the west coast of Greenland. In Labrador and Newfoundland, the winds are a bit higher, but when you are out of the area by September, you will be fine in general.

Even though the average winds are not so high, the risk of encountering 40+ knots of wind is still pretty big, especially on the southern part of the Canadian side. Be prepared!
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:48   #25
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Thanks Eric.

I've been watching the ice for longer than the marine weather. I will be watching that daily also.

But yeah, our weather here has been very hot also. Supposed to cool down today.

From what I can see, over the past few years we have been getting these big Jet Stream loops coming very far south.

Three years ago we were in Tampa, Florida in January. The temp there was -2C while the low in Bonavista that day was +1.

For the past three years (this one excepted) the early winter in Newfoundland has been comparable to, or better than, here in Philadelphia.
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Old 24-03-2012, 08:54   #26
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

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you can make a prediction of the ice-situation later in the year
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:09   #27
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Yes, I watch that site, as well as the Danish site and the Canadian Ice Service.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I sent your bottom trends graph to a colleague who is question climate trends.

Sea ice maps from the Danish Meteorological Institute | Danish Meteorological Institute | Sea ice maps | Sea ice | Icelandic Meteorological office

Results

On my bucket list for this trip is Prinz Christian sound. May or may not be doable depending upon early ice down there. I don't think I have enough time to run North to Disko, the South, then go over to Baffin.

I would prefer to start South and work North, but don't know if I can do it.

I do think it looks promising though.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:25   #28
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

It is even worse than you see in the graph of the ice extent. Look at the graphs for estimated ice volume, the ice sheet is not only getting smaller, but also thinner.

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpr...time%28%29%20?

We are cruising the Arctic since 1995 and every year we can go further and longer to area's that are supposed to be ice infested.

Makes me sad...
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:29   #29
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

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On my bucket list for this trip is Prinz Christian sound. May or may not be doable depending upon early ice down there. I do think it looks promising though.
It depends on how early you want to go. Prins Christan sound is usually hard to navigate until July, but the west coast of Greenland, just a couple of hundred miles north of this amazing fjord is already (or still) accessible at this moment.
We will be in that area around Jun/July, maybe we will see each other there!
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:32   #30
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Re: Greenland - Baffin - Labrador

Has anyone experience on passage Canada-Greenland-Iceland-Scotland?
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