Skeleton Crew // ICEBEAR & ISBJORN at-sea Report

by ICEBEAR mate Emma Garschagen, via sat phone email.

Good morning / afternoon !

Emma here, emailing with an update from us all aboard ICEBEAR.

We had a perfect start on Sunday evening when we pushed off from St. Thomas. Steady trades made for a happy ICEBEAR and happy crew. Matt and Layton made a delicious quinoa salad and we reached along making 7 or 8 knots all night. Alex and I stood the 2100-0000 watch that night and saw an epically bright, big, waning moon rise. We enjoyed a bit more sailing on Monday morning. During our 0600-0900 watch we shook out the reef in the main and added the staysail. As the day warmed up the breeze died out, so we fired up the iron sails. So glad to have had ~ 20 hours of good easy sailing to start us off.

Although we’ve been motoring, we have no shortage of things to do. We’ve set and struck our sails at least once, set a reef for the overnight watches, cooked and cleaned, fixed the freezer hinge (thanks, Sean!), read and napped, and even took an all-hands swim. And Anastasia and Jenni made falafel last night – such a treat!

After standing the graveyard watch last night, I took full advantage sleeping through most of my 6 hours off, and then woke to a glassy sea. Matt and Layton were on watch and Jenni was slicing oranges and hard boiling eggs in the galley. Alex and I had coffee, ate breakfast, and read. As our watch began at 0900, Sean clicked the throttle into neutral, and the pool was open! We took turns swinging from the spinnaker halyard and soaping up on the side deck. Some took the opportunity to get exercise – I lost count of how many laps Anastasia did around ICEBEAR – while others looked for photo-ops as they dove off the bow.

The 1/2-hour offshore pool party put everyone in good-spirits. Feeling a good bit cleaner ourselves, we jumped into a cleaning frenzy. Matt scrubbed the aft side decks where food scraps often get stuck on their way overboard. Layton and Alex detailed the cockpit, cleaning out the shocking amount of dirt and crumbs that make their way into the nooks and crannies between the teak. Anastasia and Jenni tackled the cabin sole with the vacuum, while Sean got us back underway.

Now, I’m on watch while I type this to you. Sean has the crew gathered around a chart on the saloon table and is explaining how we’ll plan our approach into the Chesapeake. They’ll plot waypoints, find transits, and identify obstacles along the way.

It’s great to be back out on the big blue. Looking forward to raising these sails this evening.

Kiss Axel from me 🙂

 xo Emma

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