Greenland Snowkite: Day 4

Date 09/05
Day 4
Location N69 23.259 W 046 6.948
Distance (day/total) 74/180 miles
Weather Strong wind and whiteout for most of day
Wind 20-40 mph Temp -3c
Well yesterday we said “snowkiting is very much a game of strategy, very similar to sailing the oceans – you play the long game and accept that you can’t win everyday.” And so it proved today. The forecast was grim, but our weather expert Marc indicated there may be a window of opportunity early afternoon. So with the wind howling and whiteout conditions we readied ourselves to “go and have a look”. About 1pm and as promised the snow stopped falling and the wind died down. Once we had dug our pulks out of the snow we were ready to roll.
Straight on the Ozone Frenzy 11’s and we made rapid progress covering 100km in under 4 hours. We then turned from a NNE heading to more North and this is where the fun began. With the wind now gusting 25mph we were being propelled at a frightening speed downwind with not much margin if things went wrong. After 5km it was apparent that although great progress could be made it was only going to end one way. So we made a call to downsize our kites to the Ozone Access 6 metre.
It was the first time the 6m had ever been flown and I was horrified to find they were virtually un-flyable.. Surely Ozone could not have made a mistake. Leo was hitting the ground with his every couple of km and I was doing the same. I realised that my kite would turn anti-clockwise without problem, but clockwise it would just turn on its wing tip. The wind was now gusting 35mph so we called time on our trip. Packing the kite up I inspected the bridle connections and they looked fine BUT inside the wing tip was about 2kg of snow. So the kites were fine but when we layed them out in the driving snow it must of got inside the vents and worked to the tip. Now we know we will be more careful.
So we are safely in our mobile home and it is now blowing about 40 mph. A unexpectedly positive day, given the forecast, and the long game of waiting continues again.
Note: Due to lack of sun, we are down on power; we will do our best to update the blog tomorrow, but our emergency systems take power priority over sending photos (it takes us about 2 hours to transmit the blog and a couple of photos over the satellite link – think 1990’s bad dialup broadband)