10-Sep-2008 -- On board M/S Quest on the north Atlantic ocean en route from Hornsund, Svalbard to the East Greenland coast I asked the expedition leader Morten Jörgensen to put in an integer latitude / longitude as a waypoint on the GPS that steered the ship.
After discussing a suitable one with the officer at the bridge, they chose lat 75 N long 10W. So I was prepared on the foredeck as we approached it early in the foggy morning of 10th September. An overview picture was taken 83 seconds before the confluence intercept, and with a speed over ground of 10.8 knots, that would be 460 m from the confluence.
At 07:57:56 as my camera tells, my GPS on the foredeck passed 9 m south of the confluence. The time corresponds to 06:50 UT. I took pictures in the north, south and west directions in a rapid sequence, and then rushed to the aft deck and took the eastward directed picture. A fulmar can be seen as a confluence inhabitant in the distance.
The GPS is photographed at the following positions:
75 degrees 00.000 minutes N, 9 degrees 59.970 minutes W, corresponding to 14.38 m east of the confluence
74 degrees 59.996 minutes N, 9 degrees 59.989 minutes W, corresponding to 7.41 m S and 5.27 m E
74 degrees 59.993 minutes N, 10 degrees, 00.009 minutes W, corresponding to 12.96 m S and 4.32 m W of the confluence.
A geometric calculation gives the middle observation to be the closest of the three with a distance of 9.09 m. If the first and the last observations are used to calculate the closest distance, the result is 8.14 m, and it happens almost exactly when the middle observation is made. Therefore, I set 9 m as the accuracy of the observation. The GPS internal accuracy is 3 m, as can be seen on the GPS pictures.
Four minutes and 36 seconds after the confluence passage I took a picture of one of the ship's radar screens. The ships trajectory is shown as a red line and the coordinate lines for 75 N and 10W are in the upper and right part of the screen, respectively. The intersection of the two is 1539 m from the ship's position, which gives the ship's speed over ground as 10.8 knots.
The pack ice was encountered at 74 degrees 47 minutes N, 11 degrees 29 minutes W, about 50 km from the confluence. It was not penetrable, and the ship followed the ice edge down to about 72 degrees N. There the ship could go round the ice tip. This was about 330 km south of the ice shown on the ice charts from the meteorological service. This error made us go to Kong Oscar Fjord instead of Myggbukta for our first contact with the East Greenland coast.