Gambo’s False Start to Greenland; Returns to Harbor with Steering Problems


Gambo Heads to Greenland Earlier TodayBy Carol McCracken (Post # 516)

Less than an hour after the research vessel Gambo left DiMillo’s wharf where it took on 77 gallons of diesel fuel for its trip to western Greenland, the ship returned to Portland Yacht Services. When the sloop left the Harbor, she was under full sail with a good breeze. (See above photo.) She was accompanied by Phin Sprague, Jr., of PYS, a photographer with WCSH-TV and in a PYS work boat.

PYS has been the port for Gambo since mid May when she came in from Nova Scotia where she spent the winter. Since that time her sonar equipment was famously stolen from beneath the boat and the research expedition was in jeopardy. However, the sonar equipment was replaced this past Tuesday. Nowlenn Chauche, Gambo’s captain had also been waiting for a hydraulic pump for the automatic pilot. That arrived Wednesday am and was installed immediately. During a sea trial, the new equipment didn’t work. The defective equipmentwas replaced by equipment from a hardware store & deemed working.

Up early this morning, the three members of the crew, two French and one from Brussels, performed lots of pre-expedition chores; checked gauges and finally tidied up the ship for the two weeks of sailing ahead to the western coast of Greenland. It was not known this afternoon when the expedition will be back on track; maybe tomorrow mornng, maybe not. This is the second year Gambo has been docked at PYS; they will not return again.

Depending on when the expedition continues, there could be another concern. That is the perishable fruits and vegetables that were purchased a few days ago. Max Deneuville, a French member of the crew talked about their food supply recently. Since they were sailing into a colder climate, the crew needs high energy foods like good chocolate, bacon, and nuts. Also aboard are canned tuna, canned vegetables and eggs because they last without refrigeration. The forward bunk was full of fresh produce; oranges, melons, lettuce, potatoes and much more. At Hannaford Bros., they purchased two months worth of food for 8 people; including scientists they will meet on Greenland. DeNeuville, who is 28 years old, is retired from the French Navy. To his girlfriend, Delfine, who is a Spanish teacher, near Jersey and Chausey Island off the French coast, DeNeuville says: “I love you!”

Dr. Alun Hubbard owns the Gambo. He’s a glaciologist who lectures at Edinborough University and is associated with the Glaciology Center in Wales at Aberystwyth.

For more information, please see Post # 511, dated June 30 herein.