John from Wildfoot travelled in August from Iqaluit on Baffin Island to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland on one of the company’s Arctic Cruises to Greenland. This is a log of his experiences.
Woke up this morning with a signal on my mobile phone for the first time since leaving Iqaluit on Baffin Island and Arctic Canada. I’m glad I turned off the data roaming, though, I bet that would have cost a fortune just locating where I am! We were coming in to the port of Qeqertarsuup on Disko Island on the west coast of Greenland surrounded by the most amazing icebergs.
We could not land in the port until after 09.00, because it is a Saturday and no official is available to give clearance until at least that time! It is a picturesque little town with lots of multi-coloured buildings clustered around the harbour. It is immediately evident that we are now in Europe rather than the Americas – the native signs are Inuit, but the secondary language is Danish and there are lots of other indications that we have crossed continents – no KFC for example and far less big automobiles, plus Northern European style housing.
Went for a couple of hours’ walk out of town and then came back to pop into the supermarket and the surprisingly interesting museum. Supermarkets abroad are always fascinating and here was no exception, especially in the frozen section, where there were gulls and seal meat.
Back to the ship for lunch and then out on the zodiacs for the most amazing zip around the icebergs in Disko Bay. It is a spectacular panorama of icebergs, big and small and under a clear blue sky, an amazing experience. We even saw one berg tilt and then calve tons of ice into the sea with a loud crack. All these bergs have come from Ilussiat and that is where we will be tomorrow.
We saw lots of Glaucous and Icelandic gulls and some black guillemots, but no gyrfalcons or humpback whales – you can’t have everything!
These were the best conditions you could hope for an Arctic cruise in Greenland in August, so we are really lucky. I am writing this at 23.30 and it is still barely twilight outside on a flat calm sea.