At the Helm
58º 46' N, 55º 43' W
It appears that s/y Sarema is the very first Finnish vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage and consequently, our odyssey has got some media coverage back in Finland. There was a minor mistake in the piece of news published by STT (Finnish News Agency) that we would very much like to be true. It said that it had taken us about four months to sail the 11,000 kilometres from Alaska to Canada (Halifax) which, in fact, gives the impression that we are already in Halifax. Oh, if only we were!
Instead, we are still at sea beating against winds, swell, and oncoming seas. We hove to again the other day as the about three-meter seas and the more than 30 knot headwinds seemed to be a bit too much for our little hydraulic pump that controls the steering. The next morning when the seas had smoothed down a bit, we continued our journey in the only direction the winds allowed us to proceed without difficulty, i.e. towards Ireland which undoubtedly is an attractive destination but....
After about 24 hours, however, we were able to lay a somewhat better course to Belle Strait after which we eventually hope to find a little less troubled seas. Since the heaving to, we have had no problems caused by the hydraulic pump but, what we are left with are the problems caused by not having a hydraulic pump at all, which again has resulted in that we don't have a functioning autopilot anymore, either. So, here we are, two tired sailors in the middle of the Labrador Sea with more or less 1,000 miles to go, and the only means to get out of here seems to be manual steering. We are sure we'll have a good laugh about all this someday, maybe around the year 2050!