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Author: Dave

We’re doing a few slideshows around South Africa over the next couple of months. As an added bonus, we’ll also be showing Steve’s awesome film of the trip.

Herewith the dates:

Tues 23rd October
MCSA Cape Town
97 Hatfield St
7:30 for 8pm
Bouldering wall open from 6pm
Liquid refreshments will be available

Wed 7th November
MCSA Durban
7:30 for 8pm

Wed 14th November
MCSA Johannesburg
7:30 for 8pm

Hope to see you there!

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Yesterday morning we passed Point Barrow, the Northern-most point of Alaska. By some definitions, it marks the end of the North-West Passage and in this case it provided a good excuse for celebrations aboard the fair S/V Dodo’s Delight.

Of course the gods of the Arctic ocean don’t give up too easily. Although after a week the passage from Tuktoyaktuk to Nome is well underway, we’ve encountered several days of strong headwinds, rough seas and generally uncomfortable sailing. On a good day we can make 120 Nautical miles and more, but on bad days we’ve recorded less than a quarter of that. Yuk! Right now we’ve just survived a night running on bare poles (no sails) with a 40 knot wind pushing us along at 6 knots. Everything is wet!

For the time being we’re affected by a strong low pressure that is predicted to continue giving us 30-40 knot winds from astern, and we’re holding thumbs, stroking rabbits feet and donning lucky underwear to ensure that it won’t shift in front of us.

The nights are getting longer, and this week we were lucky to get a patch of clear sky where we could see the famous Aurora Borealis – some might say a ‘high light’ of the trip. It looked a bit like the Milky way, although tinged green and slowly undulating. Combined with the luminescent jellys in the water, it was quite an ethereal moment.

Wish us luck!

(Blog Post via Sat Phone)

Greetings from chilly Resolute, a small outpost located in the Western half of Lancaster Sound.

This week we sailed though the northernmost point of our Arctic Journey (74 degrees 47 minutes North). Strong Westerly winds and snow gave us a rather rough time in getting from Pond Inlet, up Navy board inlet, across to Beechy Island and then to Resolute bay. We’ll post more on Beechy Island and our snowy sailing experiences when we can upload the photo’s.

From Resolute we’ll be heading back South towards (hopefully) warmer climes – though Peel sound, Kind William Island and to the famous Gjoa Haven.

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, there is apparently an old Scandinavian maritime tradition of changing underwear upon heading South. Of course the crew of Dodo’s Delight are only too happy to oblige!

An encounter on the wharf in Upernavik town with one of Cpt Bob’s friends led to a very kind invitation for a traditional Greenlandic Dinner. Jens Hansen, a Greenlander and First Mate on the Royal Arctic Shipping Line, lives with his wife Rasmine in a beautiful house high up on a hill overlooking the town and its ice-berg strewn bay.

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Upon arrival, we were impressed with the amount and variety of foods carefully laid out on their large dinner table. As you can imagine, Greenland being mostly under ice, there is virtually no local produce (vegetables, dairy, red meat, etc.) with most supermarket items imported from Denmark. Consequently, apart from the very occasional musk-ox or polar bear, all traditional Greenlandic food comes from the sea.

Jens explains the story behind Amershuk, the fish that saved Greenland

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Mattak is the skin and blubber of the Narwhal, and we were served it both boiled and raw. When served raw it is quite chewy, but otherwise fairly digestible! Narwhal are regularly hunted under permit, although the trading and sale of Narwhal tusk itself is prohibited in Greenland.

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Seal meat is dark, rich, not particularly fishy—maybe halfway between beef steak and liver—and surprisingly tasty. The dark meat is connected to chunks of fat or blubber, not unlike biltong fat. Jens explained the taste differs according to the age, species and habitat of the seal. He prefers the fish-eating seals of Northern Greenland over their shrimp-eating brethren in the south.

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Whale was served in a soup, cut in strips (half meat, half blubber). It tasted quite pleasant, and not too strong. The local residents have a license to catch a limited number of whales every year. Jens was not sure of the English name of the whale at dinner, only that it was very big and had a blubbery chin!

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Amershuk is a small dried fish known fondly as ‘the fish that saved Greenland’. Jens explained that in the long cold winter months, the dried fish can be eaten when all other food sources are exhausted. We were served amershuk with raw seal blubber (the red packet on the right in the image below) to add a bit of moisture and it tasted surprisingly good!

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More familiar foods such as shrimp, king crab, halibut and a few varieties of dried fish were also served and were quite delicious after our diet of British tinned food.

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Toward the end of our meal, Jens remarked that in normal circumstance a meal would consist of just one of the seven or so dishes on the table. Had we just eaten through a weeks worth of food? Hopefully not! We did do a good job working through a mountain of sea food. Clinton deserves special mention for his fine effort, especially on the blubber front.

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Once again, we have been impressed by the kind and generous nature of the Greenlanders. They really are a special group.