Fowls, foul winds and frigid nights

We awoke this morning in the historic anchorage of Worsleyhamna – to the north is a spit of land that is buzzing with birds including long-tailed ducks, terns, purple sandpipers, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. All around us are the scattered islands of Liefdefjorden, each with their own colony of nesting birds and the occasional prowling polar bear (though we have only found the skull of a young cub in this fjord so far).In the far end of the fjord is our target for the day – the spectacular Manacobreen glacier which once was so much more amazing. Today the glacial front is breaking apart and  bares only rudimentary similarities with the charted coastline that was first put to paper by the early explorers. Despite the diminished might of the ice we hope to spend the day cruising amidst the icebergs calved from the glacier and always with a sharp lookout for the numerous polar bears that we are assured call the area home.

And as for us? We are still having a fantastic time though the constant long watches and windy anchorages are starting to take their toll on our sleep. And talking of wind .. Much of it seems to be emanating from the rear end of our diminutive crew member Shy. Each night a blast of fetid air announces the urgent need for a walk on deck. Admittedly he is getting better, with fewer urgent calls of nature, however Leonie and I never escape without several rude awakenings during the night and a quick  lap of the deck while we shiver in long-johns and bare feet. Then again, the companionship of a warm sleepy head on the lap during a long watch, and the  pleasure of having a leaping dog taking such obvious joy in a walk more than  makes up for the more mundane aspects of dog ownership on a yacht. Now we  just have to teach him that no, the tiller of the yacht is NOT a chew toy ..

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