As Promised, here’s PART TWO:
The magnificent glaciers and icebergs in and around the Ilulissat Icefjord in Disko Bay (Greenland’s first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Site); my adventure on the Ice Sheet (a short trek and an overnight camp-out); the ferry trip including some unexpectedly beautiful mountains, and more.
Regular readers will remember that at the end of the Northwest Passage Cruise we came across Baffin Bay from Canada to Greenland. Our first landfall was at the village of Qeqertarsuaq (on Disko Island) where we saw some incredible geology, stunning wildlife and some gorgeous icebergs.
Here’s a visual refresher.
We crossed Disko Bay that night, highlighted by a stunning display of Northern Lights (this picture doesn’t do justice to the awe-inspiring experience).
The next morning we were at anchor outside Ilulissat, waiting to dock, in the worst weather encountered to date on the trip. A few hardy (stupid?) souls ventured out in Zodiacs to peer through the fog at the icebergs, and to look for whales. We were rewarded by finding this magnificent Humpback Whale.
We then went south to Sisimiut and finally to Kangerlussuaq (Kang for short), which was the end of the Ship Trip. Everybody headed home, and I stayed – went to the Ice Cap and then back to Ilulissat ….. but to keep visual continuity here lets jump back to Disko Bay and Glaciers and then return to the Ice Cap Adventure.
Here’s the geography of Disko Bay. The three black marks are Qeqertarsuaq on the left, Ilulissat on the right and the Eqi Glacier on the top.
This satellite image below shows the Ice Cap on the right and the tongue of the glacier going down to the bay – it reportedly moves about 7 meters per day, pushing a continuous stream of icebergs into Disko Bay (commonly called Iceberg Alley).
(the funny “distortions” on the image are because it was behind glass,
and picked up some reflections from the room)
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves – enjoy the experience(s).
Now, on to the Ice Cap
The airstrip at Kang was built by the US (along with two others) in World War II. Lots of interesting history for all the fields (that we won’t go into here).
The longest road in Greenland is the 50km (30 miles) from Kang to “Point 660” on the icecap.
A rather bumpy ride in an ancient bus; some musk oxen in the distance (too far for a good picture), and then a brief walk “onto the ice”.
Then everyone piled back onto the bus except for Explorer George and a companion, skilled on The Cap (preparing for a solo crossing in 2020).
We set off hiking without a specific objective (other than to find a campsite that was somewhat flat).
We succeeded, and spent a reasonably comfortable night, hiked some more and then hitched a ride back to Kang on the return bus the the following afternoon.
24 hours, more or less, on the ice, and 10-12km – 6 to 7 miles – of up and down hiking. A magnificent experience.
Some more images from the trip down south (to Narsaq) showing the rugged coastline and the unexpected beautiful mountains and more picturesque villages