||71° 07.10 N 025° 40.30 W
||SE – 3
‘Aim for the moon and if you fall, you land among the northern lights!’
Some of us woke up to a beautifully colored morning sky, hovering over the rugged Arctic landscape, tanning the surrounding icebergs and mountain peaks in magical shades of pink and orange.
Others stayed a little bit longer in green dreamland, were equally stunning conditions were experienced.
After a fantastic sunrise, our beloved captain sailed the Hondius from Jyttehavn towards the landing spot Sydkap, while we enjoyed our breakfast and gazed out the windows, wondering what today would bring.
After a lovely breakfast the expedition team and leader invited us into the lounge for an introduction to the plans of the day and a serious of mini lectures.
Sara introduced us to the world of musk oxen. We met these rather random but incredible creatures the previous evening and were thereby highly excited to learn more about them.
Following Sara, Steffi gave a talk on the diverse adaptations by various Arctic animals to the harsh surrounding environmental conditions. It was interesting to gain an insight into the large variety of natural gortex and down clothing, however, it made us feel slightly unprotected and small. A few of us started to feel like the great nothingness, which Bill saw in us human beings from the very beginning.
The lecture serious was finished with Clouds, talking about the weather and climate of the North Atlantic. The diverse coffee and tea selections offered onboard in the lounge brought us through the morning and a few biscuits were consumed throughout the lecture serious, despite a delicious breakfast. The food offerings onboard our beloved Hondius exceeded our expectations once again.
We enjoyed our time on the outer decks in warm, sparkling sunshine until lunch time. While several thoughts and laughter’s were shared among new and old friends, other guests enjoyed some quiet time to themselves, reading a book or staring at the breathtaking Greenlandic scenery around us. The soft, reddish tundra covered the up 60 million years old, rugged rocks.
After an early lunch, we were driven to shore with our beloved fast, black rubber boats. At the landing sight, some of us were more furious than others and went on a guided, energetic hike with Laurence and Sara. During this 10km long scenic hike, some lucky ones even encountered the well desired snow bunny. Others joined Eduardo, Bill, Simon, Jerry, Rose and Pippa for a scenic walk over rich Greenlandic tundra dominated by permafrost. This was another case of ‘don’t believe everything you see’. It was much harder to walk over the fairly even ground than expected and our rubber boots were taken to the test.
We encountered Arctic foxes and raven, while strolling around hundreds of years old lichen and over the Arctic forest, made up of polar willow’s and dwarf birches. This made even the oldest ones among us feel young.
From the hillside we gained a wonderful view on the icebergs stranded in the bay, derived from the Daugard Jenseen glacier.
Sandra, Clouds and Steffi took some of us on a ‘guided photo workshop’ out and about in the wild nature of pristine Greenland.
Those, who were rather lacking an interest in photography, enjoyed the sunshine while lying and walking around the Arctic tundra.
Some of our scenic walkers became aware of the amount of plastic brought to this beautiful, pristine area and decided to start an effective ‘Cleanup Greenland’ project.
The evening ended with a special Arctic dinner on the outer decks, followed by a party with lots of mulled wine. Even though it felt bizarre to some of us, to listen to the Spanish sounds in this panoramic environment, most of us moved to the grooves, sooner or later. The red faces were not all related to the lovely selection of beverages, but more likely to a lack of applied sun protection earlier on. The Arctic weather surprised us once again. As if this day was not beautiful enough, the northern lights joined our party and were dancing above us in the sky. They performed exceptionally rhythmic moves in different shades of green and purple up in the sky.
What an incredibly beautiful day in the Arctic!
With the sun low in the sky, the challenge was on to keep ourselves in its warm as we circumnavigated the island of Ingmikertilkajik. Initially we had a bit of current to fight against until we turned west and headed directly into the sun. The waters were fairly calm and the light was just great. A collapse of an iceberg heightened our senses as we watch the small resulting wave coming towards us – time to continue on. We kept close to the shoreline on the backside of the island, benefiting from the currents as they pushed us on. The shoreline provided us with an interesting paddle, in and out of small and large coves. Once back into the main channel, we headed towards the ship, only to be confronted by a current wanting to push us all over the place. The workout was over and it was time to get back in the zodiac and head for the ship. Another great day in the office!