19th August 2006
Last night, for the first time in 48 hours, the clouds lifted. It was an opportunity to shower and wash my stuff without it feeling futile. Afterwards, I sat at the picnic table outside the campsite and watched the shadows lengthen, spellbound by the luminosity of the ice in the blue-grey light. However, as soon as the sun descended behind the rocky outcrops, the temperature dropped. I had to smoke with my mitts on. The magic moment was further disrupted by some of the Germans (whom I dubbed the �Hitler Youth� because of the way they�ve taken over the living room) coming outside for a smoke and talking at full volume. I was determined to finish my book, but by the time they left and I could again concentrate, it was so dark that I had to hold it right up to my nose.
It was just as cold in the tent as during my first night in Greenland. As soon as I stopped moving, the warmth seeped out through the sleeping bag and blanket, and even with a sweater, mitts and a towel wrapped around me, it was too cold to sleep.
Apart from that, I was paranoid about the time. I have an early start on Sunday, so I set the camera alarm to 6 am to try whether I would hear it. As a result, I kept waking up in the increasing light, thinking it must surely be six by now, but when I checked, it was 3:34 am. When the alarm eventually went off, I didn�t hear it.
I woke up at 7 or 8 am, to the familiar sound of the tent pane flapping in the wind (I hate that tent), with the rain offering its piddling accompaniment. I went back to sleep, but the weather did not change by nine, ten or even eleven o�clock. It was an affront. I had enough of the constant rain.
I stayed inside the tent for as long as possible, because at least it was warm by then and struggling into my boots and wading through the mud seemed like too much work. By the time I eventually got to town, it was a quarter past one and the stores were shut. At least, I still have some ship�s bisquits, tinned fish and processed cheese for the whale watching trip tomorrow. The forecast looks brighter and I�m keeping my fingers crossed.