Blog

Nuuk Fjord

  • Fin de plongee
  • Belle collecte de coralline

Louis, a sailor and diver I met in Antarctica, and Natasha, a PhD student in earth sciences in Toronto, joined the crew for almost two months. The aim is to search for coralline algae along the West coast of Greenland, from Nuuk to Qaanaaq.

The first week is a busy one, in Nuuk Fjord, with Lina and Emma. Great dives, lots of icebergs, drifting ice and breathtaking under water cliffs... Louis and I are coming up with bags full of coralline, despite some problems with both of our on board compressors. Our colleagues divers from Nuuk, whose compressors also broke down, manage to fill up our tanks, and the mission keeps going till the end. Card games and laughter are showing our success! Lina and Emma are going back to their labs, in Sweden and in England, well loaded with samples.


Nuuk

  • Stage photo a bord de Vagabond

Vagabond is coming back to Greenland's capital. Here, on June 1st, will start the 2019 scientific cruise. Two months of underwater exploration along Greenland West Coast, to sample coralline, the red algae telling about the Arctic ocean past. The second part of the mission will be in Nunavut.

From Narsarsuaq, our photographers are lucky with a nice spring cruise, we are all enjoying this Greenlandic coastal sailing. Aurore and Leonie are taking photo lessons with Christian. Pascal, Claude and Robert are so enthusiasts that one cannot resist to taking pictures!

When leaving Ipiutaq, Vagabond has hit hard a shoal. I dived to have a look, nothing, just a scratch and some paint off. Once more, we admire the strength of our faithful red hull.


Ipiutaq

  • Leonie et Aurore a la bergerie d Ipiutaq

When we arrive in the after noon, we just wanted to go ashore. We met again with Agathe and Ina on the beach, then we went to the sheepfold. Because it was the lambing period there was more work than usually: we had to feed the sheeps, help them to give birth and feed with milk the lambs that didn't get enough from their mothers. In the end of the after noon, we met with, we left him with the sheeps and we went to prepare diner and have fun at home. We went to eat on the boat and we decided that Aurore and I could stay and sleep on land. When we got ashore at nite, it was really late and we went fast to the sheepfold where we were gonna stay up to 3am. This nite, two lambs were born. At 12am Aurore and I went to have lunch on board. We decided that Aurore and I could sleep an other nite on land while dad and mom where bringing Christophe and Ronan to take the plane at Narsarsuaq and take on board 4 photographers...


Ipiutaq, first stop in Greenland

  • Ipiutaq et Vagabond depuis montagne 700m

Very nice reunion yesterday with our friends Ina, Agathe and Kalista, at Ipiutaq farm, near Narsaq, South Greenland. It is the high season of births, and the sheeps need all their care! But they are happy to have a break and visit us for an evening on board Vagabond. Then Aurore and Leonie join them for the night watch in the sheepfold; it's also a chance to sleep on land with their friend Ina (12 years old).

After these great shared moments, and some nice hikes around, we end up leaving without our daughters. Further in the fjord, in Narsarsuaq, Ronan and Christophe have a flight tomorrow morning, while the next crew will arrive a few hours later, Christian and his 3 trainee photographers.

Quite hard to believe that we are already in Greenland, we never started a season so early! The nature is beautiful, when winter is just over, very enjoyable after 5 days sailing from Newfoundland. At first there was some swell, and some hard time. But on the other side of the Labrador Sea, we had an incredible arrival. Listening to Eric Clapton, while sailing over Erik's Ridge (The Red), that was nice on Saint Eric's day!

Vagabond was back in her world. Well, the current was up to 2 knots, trying to push us to the West, and the freezing fog didn't help either, but we were happy to be sailing in the ice again, under the moonlight and with no wind. It was all about finding our way to the Greenland coast, crossing the drifting pack ice coming from the East coast with the currents. Tired but delighted, we entered the fjords on Sunday 19th in the morning, at last. Girls were smiling like the sun, warming us up. Yes, we missed all that a lot and we feel real happiness being back in the Arctic for a new mission.


Saint Anthony

  • Saint Anthony
  • Neige pour la fete des meres a St Anthony Terre Neuve

The swell is still 5m offshore, so we wait until tomorrow before leaving Newfoundland to head for Narsaq in Greenland. Eight years ago, on May 13th as well, we left Brest with the same destination!

The snowmobile season is just ending here in Saint Anthony, and the Coast Guard icebreaker came three weeks ago to free the fishing boats. As every year, about ten polar bears have been seen in early spring. But Mooses are present all year round.


Right into icy waters

  • Ronan apporte deux crabes des neiges
  • Timonerie Vagabond version 2019

Still getting our sea legs, the conditions are nice, the fishermen as well: "which side would you like to pass?". The new radar, the search light ahead and the central heating are very welcomed for this first night of sailing between all kind of ice coming from Baffin Island and Labrador. At Musgrave Harbour, we find a technician for a last setting of the radar, and we let pass some bad weather. It's the beginning of the snow crab season, and we're enjoying it.


St John's, Newfoundland

  • Christophe Leonie peinture
  • France le 4 mai 2019 devant le port de St-John-s

At 9am this Wednesday morning, we leave the very protected port of St John's, the end of an busy technical stop. Vagabond is ready for the next mission, heading to Greenland!

It has been ten days of work and revisions of all kinds: paints, engines, diving equipment, bilge pumps, fire extinguishers, navigation lights... and even setting up a brand new radar, since its predecessor has given up. The multi-beam sonar arm, which will be used during the month of August, was designed and tested with the help of Kirk and Andrew. Thanks to Dana and Patrick we met the day we arrived in St John's, we enjoyed their huge and beautiful pick-up to get all our supplies. Thanks also to Rick from Ocean Quest and his daughter Jill, Tony from Atlantic Electronics, Jerry the Marine Insultant, Ben for his cookies... not to customs for keeping our bottles. The entire crew was busy, under the expertise of Christophe, and Ronan joined us Sunday night for two weeks.

Vagabond had not stopped in such a large city since 2011; a population as welcoming and helpful as fog and icebergs are present!


Trepassey

  • Avec Aurore et Leonie en vadrouille

From Saint-Pierre, we make our way to southeastern Newfoundland, and we pass Cape Freels before doing a small stopover at Trepassey, to stretch our legs and slowly find our sea legs. Vagabond had not been so far south since spring 2003 (Japan)!


Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, by Aurore Brossier

  • Aurore chez Layla a Miquelon
  • CM1 et 5eme a bord de Vagabond

We arrived in Miquelon by plane. We met VAGABOND!!! Everything was fine except some stuff (windmill, radar, etc ...). Léonie and I went to the school-college in Miquelon. For 10 days we had fun with our new friends. Layla even invited me to sleep at her home. We watched the launch of the boat with the school-college. It was moving. At Easter, we went for a walk. We did kite flying and looked for eggs. We had a lot of fun. Then we went to Saint-Pierre. The short cruise lasted 5 hours. We made a talk at the Cultural and Sports Center. And we started the French school-college at the boat.