Life at sea – 56° 24’ 35” N, 51° 31’ 46” W

We are Day 5 at sea and just over halfway between St John's, Canada and Nuuk, Greenland crossing the Labrador Sea.  Depending on the wind, we have another four or so days before we arrive in Nuuk. So, what does life at sea look like?

Our day starts at about 06:45 when we leap from our warm and cosy bed to take over watch.   Marisa and Adriano then disappear to snatch a few hours sleep and leave us in charge!  Our job is to keep the boat sailing, adjust sails as needed, stay on course and not hit anything!  We also keep an eye on battery levels, monitor the radio and radar.

This morning, we woke to overcast skies and rain.  The wind is steady between 16-20kn (32-40km/hr) and from 150° in relation to the boat.  This puts us on a broad reach which is a really comfortable point of sail.  The seas are relatively flat and we are zipping along at 6-8kn (12-16km/hr - yes,  you can almost run as fast was we travel!). 

These are the conditions in which a Garcia excels.  I am on watch, writing this in the salon table with cup of tea in my slippers and a t-shirt.  I have 270° view of what's around us and can see the chart plotter, radar and wind instruments.  By looking up through the hatches, I can monitor the sails.  This is a far cry from huddling in the cockpit, exposed to the elements, rugged up in foul-weather gear with cold hands and toes! Intrepid travel in comfort.

The weather app PredictWind - we are avoiding that nasty looking storm
off Greenland! 

Marisa and Adriano reappear around 11 am.  Still in our slippers, we flick on StarLink and download the latest weather. We have a chat about our course, the conditions we anticipate and what sails we should have up.

Starlink is on for 30-45 minutes most days for weather updates, email
and, of course, the occasional blog post.

We are avoiding a storm off the coast of Greenland so we are slowing down the boat to let it blow through.  The wind is building to a sustained 23-28kn (46-56kn/hr) so we all gear up and make the sail changes.  We drop the Code Zero, put a reef in the main and unfurl the headsail.  This set up will be comfortable and safe up to about 30kn (60km/hr) of wind.  

Sean looking dashing in his foul weather gear!

When the conditions are a little more pleasant, we would hang out in the cockpit.  But today, in the rain and wind, it is cold and uncomfortable.  So we retreat back to our slippers.  We also keep an eye on the ice conditions.  After dodging the storm, we need to dodge the ice.  We will stay out at 52°W to avoid the sea ice off Paamiut then weave our way through the icebergs into Nuuk.

Nuuk is the unnamed red dot north of Paamiut

It usually takes a couple days to settle into a rhythm and routine of life at sea.  Fortunately, none of us are prone to seasickness but we found that we slept more in those first few days as our bodies adjusted to the motion of the ocean and the broken sleep due to watch keeping. Now, we are all in the swing of things.

Marisa and Adriano take over watch at 13:00.  We chat, watch the sea, look for whales, try to identify the seabirds, read, snooze... Wednesday was shower day!  We filled the water tanks and ran the heater so we had endless hot water - we were all so clean and shiny.  Someone will volunteer to cook dinner and we all eat together before Marisa and Adriano slip off to sleep while Sean and I take over watch from 19:00 to 01:00.

We wiill write more once we reach Nuuk!


  1. Hi from the Harleys in lovely cholesbury

    1. Hello Harleys! Looks like you are having a fabulous summer. Looking forward to swapping stories when we are back in UK!

  2. Love following your travels

  3. Thank you for posting. What an adventure!

  4. Enjoying reading about your intrepid adventures, bless you all. Love from J,A, P🐾 and D🐾


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