Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Great Island

Our arrival could not have been prettier at Godhavn, our destination for the day. Name doesn't ring a bell? Sorry, I am talking about Qeqertarsuaq, the 950-soul village at the southern end of Disko Island. However, the name Qeqertarsuaq means Great Island and comprises so much more than the sheltered bay, so maybe I should use the Danish name for the Good Port we are anchoring in - Godhavn. OK, now I got you confused - that's why we give information briefings on board every evening, explaining names and places and history bits, and, and, and.
Still blue skies, a fairly strong wind, so not a whiff of fog destroying the view onto this marvellous volcanic plateau which forms the whole island, looking like a giant layer cake.

Speaking of which: Today is the 120th birthday of HURTIGRUTEN.
We - the Expedition Team on FRAM- take this opportunity to send a big birthday greeting not only to the company, but also to our friend and colleague Anja back in Germany, who picked this fine day for her birthday, too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Qeqertarsuaq has become the centre of activity over the years. Right upon arrival the hikers take off and follow a long, beautiful path along the basaltic coast, enjoying a most colourful display of dark rock, deep green moss and Angelica, the whitest ice, and the bluest ocean you can imagine. The wind was noticeable, but it served as the most efficient mosquito repellent, so even having lunch on the seaboard among little waterfalls and springs was perfectly undisturbed. 
Whereas the hikers loved the strong breeze the boat riders, who set out to the icebergs while hoping for whales, had to fight the elements pretty hard. Against the wind, against the waves, it was impossible to get closer to the three humpback whales that were spotted by the hikers. They simply swam the wrong direction...
The Kayakers came back with big biceps, as they had to paddle hard in the wind as well. But they loved it!
We invited the locals on board to celebrate the company's birthday with us, and it was such a delight with their broad smiles, and the giggle of the children was certainly adding to the cheerful mood.
Of course, as soon as all activities were wrapped up and finished the wind calmed down... thanks, Murphy...! On the other hand, the ride through the iceberg-loaded Vaigat Sound was a sight for gods, legions of majestic white houses sitting on a mirror, waving us good night.
Really - a GREAT Island!