53º49' N, 55º47' W
We are happy to report that all is well aboard Sarema. Our progress has been slower than expected and hoped for, but it is something we have come to accept by now. The winds, swell, and the Labrador Current just seem to be incapable of co-operating with each other which is quite a nuisance but the circumstances could be far worse. We haven't had a single storm yet! and, the other day, we managed to escape a gale by coming closer to the Labrador coast. So, although our current life at sea is by no means a breeze, we have every reason to be content.
Manual steering has not presented a problem as we soon discovered that the best system for us is two-hour shifts at the helm night and day, as necessary. The time may sound a bit short but with her long keel and four and a half metre beam, Sarema is not the easiest of boats to steer, especially in these troubled waters. When at the helm, our daily routine is thus two hours of steering and two hours of sleeping plus eating, times six. Actually, it is exactly as monotonous and tiring as it sounds but the main thing is that it works. But, thank god, there are also days when the winds are steady and the sails are trimmed just right, and Sarema flies across the seas by herself without a helmsman!
Now that we have come further south, there are more and more seabirds entertaining us; black-legged kittywakes, storm-petrels, northern fulmars, skuas, auklets, puffins, etc. We have also seen whales almost on a daily basis. And, yesterday, it was Open House all day; first came the whales, then the porpoises and, later in the afternoon, the dolphins. It was absolutely wonderful! Of course, being stuck with the helm, you can't rush to the bow to see them play, and there is no way you can take photographs which is a real pity (the one above was taken in Baffin Bay). But, as always, you can't have it all!