Friday, 26 June 2009


Our day started at 3:30... sort of. Winds had been forecast for a Force 10 storm. At 3:30 in the morning we left the shelter of Kangerlussuaq Fjord and entered open water. Suddenly things began to go bump in the night and what was on the desk top was now under the desk, under the bed and generally well distributed about the floor of the cabin. After about an hour of rocking about, the Fram's course changed enabling us to take the seas in a much more favourable fashion and to be rocked gently back to sleep.
Later on, our morning was filled with AECO (The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) presentations regarding the guidelines for visitors to the Arctic.

We arrived at Sisimiut at 11am. The winds had abated inside the sheltered harbour but were still blowing strong just off shore. Unfortunately this meant that the seas were too rough for our optional boat excursions to the abandoned town of Assaqutaq. Still, there were lots of things to do in town such as visiting the excellent museum, and spending our money in the various shops including the excellent craft workshop by the harbour.

Many of us joined the historical walking tour to Tele Island. The weather was excellent for hiking – cool and overcast. One of the very interesting highlights of the tour was two very old graves. The dead were often positioned sitting overlooking the sea and then covered over with stones. It was an eerie feeling to peer between the stones and see human remains.

Walking around the harbour and in town it was plain to see that whale hunting is still very much an important part of the Greenlandic culture and lifestyle. Many of the larger boats have high-powered harpoons mounted on the bow. In the photo you can see the harpoon loosely wrapped in canvas of the boat G.7-190. In the shops there are many crafts made of baleen and narwhal tusks. In the grocery stores and meat/fish markets you can purchase fresh whale meat.
Just before departing the key we were treated to an extraordianry display of kayaking prowess. Kungunnguaq, a former kayaking champion of Greenland, could even paddle with his kayak upside down!