Following on the success of their Antarctic cruise in company, FPB78s Iron Lady ll and Grey Wolf ll are going to do another jaunt to the ice summer of 2020, this time to nearby Greenland. Several other FPBs are planning to join, so this is a semi-official call for all FPBers to give this opportunity serious consideration. Greenland is a relative easy destination to reach for our FPBs. Having made this life-changing cruise in 2008 we offer a few comments on the route we took.
Once you have cruised in an environment like Greenland, your perspective on everything changes. The combination of exquisite beauty, big ice, together with a degree of risk is a heady brew that can induce an adrenaline rush second to none. Warning… exposure to what Greenland offers can induce addiction to high latitude cruising.
The passage from the US is relatively easy. A series of short (in FPB terms) hops. When we did this trip with FPB 83-1 Wind Horse we bunkered diesel in Ensenada, Mexico, and then made a very pleasant 12 day passage direct to Panama. It took a couple of days arranging paperwork (using the services of Tinas McBride). Upon completion of the Canal transit weather was so favorable for continuing on that after dropping pilot and line handlers, we anchored for a couple of hours, cleaned up the boat, showered, and headed directly for the Windward Passage and Bahamas.
Four comfortable days saw us in Georgetown, and after spending an enjoyable sojourn in the islands we headed direct to Nova Scotia,
five relatively easy days at sea.
Customs formalities were completed in Lunenberg, and after a few days catching up with old friends we day hopped up the east coast of Nova Scotia, through the
Bras d’Or Lakes, to Badeck, and then across the 90 miles of Cabot Straits to Newfoundland.
From Newfoundland through the Straights of Belle Isle to
Red Bay, Labrador, and then along Labrador’s East Coast still day hopping, stopping as fancy dictated, exploring fascinating deserted anchorages and meeting wonderful Labrador inhabitants.
The passage from Labrador to Greenland is roughly 600 NM depending on your starting and ending point. Three days for an FPB at normal cruise.
As this will normally be your first exposure to big ice, a certain level of anxiety with the unknown is normal. But before long having six or more large ice bergs in view on radar within 12 miles is no big deal. We will say, however, that navigating in heavy fog, in ice, with a gale immanent does make for a strong appreciation of quality radar and a back up as well.
Greenland itself is a cruising Nirvana with awe inspiring anchorages and beautiful ice everywhere you look.
You will find numerous posts on SetSail on this subject by typing “Greenland” into the search box upper right. We are looking forward to a drone photo of a bunch of FPBs in a lovely Greenland anchorage!
For more info on the Greenland planning contact FPB 78-3 Owner Pete Rossin
For a closer look at Greenland and the journey mentioned in the post here are a few video links:
- Greenland: one of the great cruising destinations on the planet. From ice choked Disco Bay in the northwest to the spectacular Prince Christian Channel complex in the south, you will be enthralled by what you see in this Greenland video.
- and then in order of how a passage from California to the UK via Greenland would look starting with the 2900 NM passage to Panama part one of two is here. Part two of two is here.
- Transit the Panama Canal, then make the passage from Colon, Panama through the Windward Passage to the Bahamas, with a brief cruise through the lovely Islands in the Stream by clicking here.
- Bahamas to Nova Scotia upwind passage video is here.
- Crossing the Cabot Straights to Newfoundland is here.
- For a slide show of Canada’s Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador click here.
- From Greenland we headed to Ireland, across the North Atlantic during a difficult weather pattern. That passage, and its one gale is here.
If you would like join the FPB family but are not an FPB Owner contact Sue Grant at Berthons.com. Sue keeps a close eye on the FPB fleet and will know of any brokerage opportunities.