maanantai 2. syyskuuta 2013

August 31st 2013

No More Ice (for the time being)!

On the 30th of August, we left Amundsen Bay at 3.40 am local time. Based
on the latest GRIB files and the ice information we had received from
Finland the day before, we had planned to continue our voyage later in the
afternoon. However, as both the direction and the speed of the wind had
changed making Sarema bounce and sway violently eventually breaking our
anchor chain safety line, we had no option but weigh anchor and leave.

We first sailed further north-east to see what the ice situation in the
Laptev Sea looked like. As there seemed to be very little ice along the
coast we turned to the south. After pushing through a few ice belts we
eventually managed to get closer to the shore, and there we continued
along the shoreline zigzagging amidst drift ice.

As we were nearing the Samuila Island, we saw more and more ice and after
a while, our way was blocked by a thick belt of packed ice that stretched
uninterrupted from the shore out to the sea. The only way we could
continue our passage was first to sail to the north-east along the north
side of the island and then turn to the east in order to avoid the ice
between the Samuila Island and the Bol'Choy Island further south.

When we had passed the islands, the amount of ice in front of us began to
decrease significantly, and at 3.30 pm local time, there was no more ice
in sight. This was so incredible that it took us quite some time before we
could really believe that after almost a week in more or less ice-infested
waters, we had finally reached open seas!

Now that we won't have to worry about ice for a while, lets go back to our
Finnish language studies. The two things that an Arctic sailor is most
interested in are 'ice' and 'weather', the Finnish equivalents of which
are 'jää' and 'sää' respectively. Other Arctic related words such as
'cold' and 'passage' are in Finnish 'kylmä' and 'väylä'. As you can see,
there are lots of important Arctic words in Finnish that have the letter ä
in them (like the aforementioned räiskäle!). But, of course, there are
many Finnish words without the letter ä, and there is one in particular
which is used worldwide and is as important for Arctic sailors as it is
for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life. Your homework is to
find out what that word is!

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