Imram - Thursday , 10th of August 2004 - 79 55N 13 08E - 2/2 home  previous page 


Once Imram was secured and a healthy breakfast served, time came to dig out mountain boots from their stowaway in the hull, get the rifle on shoulder and start to walk. Isabelle had located a delightful walk
just behind the last huts of the settlement, leading onto a ridge with a glacier cirque on a side and, on the other, the blue immensity of Kongsbreen, the glacier of the kings, mirrored in the iceberg-littered
bay and towered by the mighty `Three Crowns`, brown and red mountains named after mitical scandinavian kings. The walk on solid and brittle stones, the exilarating views from the ridge and the peak and the fast
descent on loose scree were what we truly needed after all this time on the boat. A four-course meal with whale dried meat (and salami for the weak stomachs) as apero`, Anja's soup, Salvatore's tagliatelle
with mushrooms and skipper Peter's special banana flambe` closed the day... so to say. A small task was still ahead and many of us rushed to the northermost post office of the world to mail their postcard,
passing in front of the northermost shop of the world, not to forget the northermost, dismissed, train of the world, formerly used by miners.

Instead of going to sleep, energised by the midnight sun shining straight to the north, we casted off and followed the cost, poised to continue our northbound travel. Some mist added charm to the coast, a
succession of glacier diving in the sea, till our next stop: Magdalenefjord. Four glaciers dive in this fjord, and we could not resist a walk ashore. Our bright red zodiac was inflated (and now sits
hangs on the back of the boat, awaiting for new landings) and we had a walk ashore to follow the moraine of a glacier and contemplate the burial site of whalers, with some weathered cairns. This awe inspiring
scenario was indeed chosed by the whaling community of two centuries ago as the backdrop against which the less fortunate of them were laid to rest.

Skipper Peter's concentration was at its peak when we decided to motor to the hypnotic blue snout of imponent Waggonwaybreen. The water was almost frozen around immense ice blocks which ran aground in the shallow waters, and Imram's hull kept pushing smaller floes away in our way to the glacier... where we had to accomplish a mission: get a piece of millenary ice for our Ouzo! Nick and Rob were lucky in the
fishing operation, an ice-climbing hammer appeared on deck and we could finally taste Panos' present (thanks!) on our sail further north, among shallow waters between the islands which served as
whaling bases two centuries ago. Nick mixed a salad with a few out of the hundred tins which help our Imram's keel with their weight and some of our last fresh vegetables: cucumbers and onions. We have now
just a little-popular cabbage still to go, and carrot eaters never really showed up. The life of two-hours watch and six-hour sleep started up again.

Wind picked up and we did not attempt a precarious mooring and a cumbersome landing onto Amsterdamoya, where indeed ruins from the whaling period were sighted, amidst the only inhabitants of today: a colony of Svalbard reindeers. We are sailing west, now, for the first time after several weeks aiming up north, to reach Woodfjorden, which we hope will be the theatre of some other hiking. Concentration is
high, as more and more floating logs, which came all the way from Siberian woods, are a potential danger on our path, even though we are more and more concetrated on the smell coming out from the kitchen
corner, where Lucy's red-lentil dahl is almost ready!

Chart n°8


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The Imram Voyage 2004 - Integral 12.50 - ACAPELA, juillet 2004

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