New way of life… Anchor watch and some drone flying practice and a toy horse

Since being anchored we now have anchor watch duties. The principle is that while you’re at anchor there is always the risk of the anchor coming unstuck from the seabed, not only that but here there is also a risk of polar bears.  As such you want one person up at anyone time to check that the boat hasn’t moved.  I was going to have one early in the morning but as Denis and The Mother were already up there was no point.  I got up at two in the afternoon.   Because we’re still and we’ve got some time we decided to put the drone up.  That was a nerve wracking experience.  I’m the only one on the boat at the moment who can fly the drone so of course it’s also my job to make sure it’s alright and get it out.  So we went onto the deck and cleared an area of ropes and anything that might impede the drone and then I took off.  The reason we have the drone is that it is far more accurate to actually see the ice in front of us than be told what the conditions are by the forecast, and it will help us to pick a route through the ice.  The drone can climb to about a kilometre I think and can go more than that away from the boat in any one direction.  Because of this when we’re going along we’ll be able to send it up and see whether we need to divert from our current course.  The reason I’m worried about this is I don’t think I’m a good enough pilot and if I mess up and put it in the water we’ve got no drone, and if I mess up and put it too close to someone they’ll lose a couple of fingers.  This is a real risk because the top of the boat is small enough that it is easier to get someone to catch the drone rather than put it on the deck.  So no pressure.  Anyway, I put it up and flew about a bit and everything was fine.  Then the time came to put it back on the boat.  That took a long time.  What you do as soon as you get the drone in the air is you get it higher than anything that it could possibly crash into, so it was about thirty meters up.  I brought the drone down to a couple of meters above sea level and flew it very slowly back to the boat where The Mother was waiting to catch it, wearing very thick gloves of course.  I got it over the boat and she grabbed it.  I then quickly powered down the engines and the venture was considered successful.  The footage has been put on the computer and apparently I did an okay job.

How long we stay here is dependent on what the ice does.  We get an update on the ice-chart tomorrow and if the ice has moved enough for us to get through we’ll be straight off east.  On the other hand it is quite possible that we’ll be stuck here for a good couple of weeks waiting for the ice to change.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.  On another note, you remember I said I was given a toy minecraft skeleton horse by the students at whiteness school.  Well I still have that as well as a small stone and a coke can cap that was given to me by a friend at school before I left.  I like to think that that is the only toy horse to have been here.  We’re about to have dinner now so I’ll go.  I’ll try to write again tomorrow and I’ll tell you whether we’ll leave then, bye.

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