Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Qaanaaq - Ultima Thule

Change of plan. Again, and again for a really good reason. We heard that THE German adventurer, Arved Fuchs, would be staying in Qaanaaq with his tiny but famous sailing boat "Dagmar Aaen". So, if this is not a hell of a chance to get some first-hand information about the Arctic. At least, you can always ask…
And we were lucky! "Bribed" with a box of fruit and two cases of beer, Arved Fuchs and two of his team came over to FRAM and told us - and of course the camera team - all about his current projects, the last of which was retracing the unlucky Greedy expedition of 1896, where 16 men died of hunger.
After this event we were all shuttled over to Qaanaaq and had plenty of time for all kinds of things. Here you can actually HIKE to the icecap. It just takes a couple of hours to get there, and the brave ones really did it. Those who preferred to take it more from the holiday point of view strolled through the village, watched the whale hunter tell his tale and sell Narwhale skin right from his boat or had a chat with Finn who runs the small but exquisite museum with a lot of very good artefacts from many a period.
And then we got visitors again on our ship - the senior (over 80 years old!) of Qaanaaq came over with his wife to perform traditional songs accompanied by the drum. Time and History dissolved in our observation lounge when we all listened. As we opened our eyes again, it was already time for us to leave - go North!