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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Slammed by an Iceberg

Last night Bob and I were on our way to Aappilattoq, an Island on the Way to our last stop in Greenland, Tasiilaq. It was dark and the wind was blowing very very fast. Driving at night is very dangerous because of the small icebergs, grawlers as they call them. If you don't see them they could break your motor or sink some boats, not an Intruder. They don't sink, but we could break the motor.

After a while we took shelter behind an Island. We put out two anchors. We went to sleep. Bob on top of the bean bag wedged behind the helm. Me, on the back of the boat in the surf board bag. It is semi waterproof and semi warm. I was sleeping with two pairs of socks, a survival suit, the Interstate Battery Jacket, a seperate jacket liner, three pairs of pants,gloves, my Interstate Battery Hat, a hood, and a shirt on. I completely zip it up around me except for a tiny air hole. I am sawing logs, sound asleep.

Suddently we got whacked, by an Iceberg. I did not hear a thing. Bob jumps up pulls the anchors, drives around the Iceberg and throws the anchors again, I am still asleep, sawing logs. I wake up, he is runnning the motor a long ways, the wind is howling, water is blowing everywhere.

He threw the anchor again, and a sharp rock cut the rope. We were adrift in heavy Iceberg territory. I jump to the helm, after climbing out of my cacoon. We find a new shelter in a cave. Set one anchor on a cliff and tie the other rope to a rock.

Back to sleep. Then whack whack. We are up against the rocks, the wind and the waves are howling. We are in a hugh wind tunnel with gigantic mountains on both sides. The anchor had pulled loose.

We both jump up, Bob a lot faster. We are afraid to start the motor because of the rocks that we can't see. I pull out a flag pole and push offshore. The flag pole gives way. Wham, we are up against the rocks again, Thank God this boat is built strong.

Bob gets the biger flag pole out, thank God for Bob. He is much quicker on his feet than I, and much handier. We push off shore a little. I jump to the helm get the motor started. We are in full reverse trying to pull away from the rocks. The other rope is still tied to a rock. I drive in dropping Bob off. Full reverse again to get away from the wind and the waves.

He gets the rope loose. I pull in he jumps on.

Light is starting to come up. We drive to Aappilatoq. We go into the harbor. It is still very early. We can't find a dock. We tie to a buoy. Back to sleep. I awaken to voices.

Half way awake, I unzip to find a cruise ship and a tender. There is a photo journalist for several German Magazines. He takes pictures of me climbing out of my cacoon as well as a bunch more. He loves our story. He is done and gone before 9 am, forever.

What are the odds, we were needed in Aapilatoq, a population of about 50 people to get our story out to Germany, before we get there. It is not done yet.

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