Friday, 5 July 2013

Oh, what an ice day...!

A deep rumble is filling the ship in the morning, heads are lifting during breakfast, people stop reading and look around. But not to fret, this is just a necessary growl of the bow thrusters to better get around one of the many, many icebergs that we meet on our way back through the Vaigat Sound.
MV FRAM is one of the most manoeuvrable ships in the business, using two Azipod propulsion engines that can swivel full circle. Together with the tunnel thrusters we can literally turn on the spot, go sideways or in any required angle.
A useful feature in these waters, where you sometimes have a surface ice coverage of 8 out of 10...

Approaching our destination for the day, the glacier Eqip Sermia, we have not so many reasons to be optimistic, the whole fjord seems full with ice. But our captain shows determination beyond measure and - ever so slowly - we get closer and closer until, like a miracle, the huge glacier appears on our port side.
Point of fact, it is two glaciers we see, both having a very wide collar made of brash ice. Just a few hundred meters further inland they both will join their Big "Mother", the Greenlandic Ice Cap.
Just before we get to our favourite beach the conditions improve even further, hardly any wind, free passage to the landing site, and surprisingly few mosquitoes. Oh, and did I mention the perfect blue skies...??

In the following hours everybody hoped to see the distant glacier calve big, some from the little peninsula above the beach, some from the beautiful hike onto the "Domino" Mountains (whenever you reach a peak, there is another one behind), some even from the Kayaks - but it only shed a few minor pieces. But we heard the voice of the ice, the deep thunder from within, all the time. That was impressive enough. With glowing eyes everybody returned on board to bolt down some dinner (nobody actually noticed how hungry we were until we sat at the table...)and have a blast at the fashion show. Late at night there was probably the chance for the most exclusive overnight ever: Under the impossible golden light of the evening sun the beds were made out on deck 5. Can you imagine lying there, seeing this...??!
Yep, it was an ice day. More than that.