Our journey in Greenland is coming full circle. This morning we crossed the Arctic Circle once again as we made our way south to Itilleq. In fact the Arctic Circle lies just a couple of hundred meters south of this beautiful village.
We weren’t due to arrive in Itilleq until 13:00 which left the morning open for lectures, briefings and bridge tours. The Captain donated 1.50 hours of his precious time to the bridge tours. He explained with great patience much of the equipment on the bridge and how it functions. We gained new insight as to what the job of the navigators might entail.
Once again we had the good fortune of blue skies and very little wind. If you opted to skip the lectures, the open decks were a great place for a morning stroll, or to just sit and relax with a beverage of your choice and watch the icebergs as we cruised on by.
The first Polar Cirkel boats began ferrying everyone ashore shortly after 13:00. In Itilleq we had the opportunity to join people in their homes for coffee and cakes. It was a very nice experience to meet Greenlanders and to get a better idea of what life in Greenland might be like. Certainly they are a very hospitable people.
Everyone had nearly two hours to go exploring before the weekly soccer match between Team Fram and Team Itilleq started. It was a really fun and spirited game although a bit confusing to watch and probably equally confusing to play. It was almost impossible to tell who was on which team. The Fram side was a little bit undermanned in the beginning so Greenlanders played for both sides. If you received the ball and someone tackled you then obviously they were on the other side.
Still, it was an entertaining game. There were enough goals for both sides to keep the spectators cheering. There was even live music on the sidelines as someone had brought a keyboard and a guitar which contributed mightily to the festive atmosphere.
In the end Fram won the match with a score of 6 to 5. It is quite rare that we win in Itilleq. If I were a betting man, next week I would bet on Itilleq !
At 16:45 the last Polar Cirkel boat left shore and at 17:00 we heaved anchor and headed south towards Kangerslussuaq where our journey began.
At 17:30 there was a charity auction in the Observation Lounge. Up for auction were a master chart of the voyage, a water colour painting by the ship’s photographer and the ship’s flag which had been signed by all of the officers and the Expedition Team. We were able to raise 2575€ for the children of Greenland. A great big thank you to all of the people that bid for these charity items and especially thank you to the winning bidders!