We had a challenging start of the “TOPtOTOP Arctic Research Expedition 2021“: We left Lyngseidet on the 17th of June after filling the boat with water and food. Soon after we had an engine failure. We changed the impeller, but still no water flow. We sailed back and were busy the whole night to take the engine apart to fix the problem. Finally, there were 2 broken rubber wings blocking the inlet of the water pump, but on the intake! – Very strange!
On the 18th of June we took of again. After some hours we lost the wind and again no water flow. Luckily the wind picked up again and we tried to get into Struppen to take samples on a glacier. Furious falling winds made it too dangerous to proceed without the backup of our motor. We changed the plan and finally anchored in Koppangen. The anchorage was quite deep. Max and Sebastian went sampling. Then at night, the wind picked up and we were drifting towards a cliff, even with 80m of the chain out.
We had to act fast: We tie all our ropes together. Peder went with the dinghy with a line of 250 m to a buoy. Like that Sabine and Dario were able to pull Pachamama in the calms in between the gusts towards safety. In the morning we learned that the buoy will be not strong enough. We had to do another anchor maneuver without engine and set a safety line to shore.
The kids were successful in fishing and so we had last night a wonderful dinner, before sampling on a glacial river and on the glacier above the anchorage. Soon we continue and hope now that we have not more surprises…