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
10 thoughts on “Greenland – Wonderful Experiences !!!!! – Part Two”
Wonderful photos and a great update George. Keep ’em coming! 🙂
Thanks, Babsi. Glad you and the family are enjoying it. I definitely am “cool”, having spent the last 5 weeks in the Arctic, most of it north of the Arctic Circle. My father was an avid (and excellent) photographer with his Rolleiflex, so there must be a genetic connection. I wonder how he would have responded to the digital age. Probably would have embraced it!
Wow!! Looks like you had a great adventure. Sorry that our paths did not cross – particularly on the Ice Cap. Glad you were able to get on top of it and yes it is a very bumpy road. Never stop exploring! Ken Burton
I’m sorry that they didn’t pass either, Ken, but rest assured that I wouldn’t have been there without your stories and guidance. A truly remarkable trip, and it continues.
Thanks, Felix. Cool pun, and if it was intended as praise, I’m honored to receive it from you
Thanks, Chris; I really appreciate the “attaboy” from the active practitioner of active semi-retirement. I’m learning from the guru !
I slowly make my way through the MIT Class notes each year, found your 2019 update (okay, so I’m a little slow) and came straightaway to your blog. What a delight.
Thank you so very much for the spectacular look into your journey around the globe.
Thanks so much. It gives me pleasure to share my experiences with others. Cheers