Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The View From Palasip Qaqqaa

View From Palasip Qaqqaa Sisimiut
At 11:00 we slowly cruised into the fog beset harbour in Sisimiut.  When cold sea meets warm summer air and there is very little wind, seafog  is often the result.  Such was the case today.  The damp sea air was quite chilly as many people gathered on the dock, the meeting place for either a hike to the top of Palasip Qaqqaa mountain or a hike to Tele Island.  Still others boarded a fast boat at the ship for an excursion to the abandoned village Assaqutat.
Greenlandic children on a tour of the ship!
Throughout the day the fog pulsed in and out of the harbour but the heaviest fog lay at sea.  For those that took the 5 hour hike to the top of Palasip Qaqqaa the fog was a bonus.  For  most of the day we were on top of the clouds.  The views were stunning.  When we looked out to the west we saw a vast ocean of fluffy cotton while we basked in the sunshine.  
The elevation gain on our hike was 470 metres.  It was enough of an elevation change that it should have caused a substantial drop in temperature.  Instead the reverse was true.  The further we got inland, the warmer it got, despite the gain in elevation.
Sitting in the captain's chair!
Not everyone that starts the hike to the summit of Palasip Qaqqaa finishes.  It's a tougher hike than many people expect, despite the fact that we do our best to inform everyone of the degree of difficulty.  Those that manage it always have a real sense of accomplishment having made it to the top and back.  As you can see in the photos, the views are spectacular, which is of course also very rewarding.
One of the highlights of the day was a visit by 41 children from Sisimiut.  On Fram we try to give back to the communities we visit as much as possible.  We donate clothing to villages, we raise money at auctions and give it to the children in Greenland and we do small thing like invite bright-eyed children for a tour of the ship.  This morning 41 excited kids boarded Fram and were given a 5-star tour.  They even got to sit in the Captain's chair.  They each received a big bowl of ice cream with fresh strawberries. Is there anything more universal than a child's love for ice cream?  The biggest thrill was when they attended a special lecture - just for them -  by a real live astronaut. Claude Nicolier!    
It is now 21:00 and we are heading further north.  Tomorrow our port of call will be Qeqertarsuaq.