Sunday 8 August 2010

The Summer Is Waning

August seven. The summer is waning. Soon the first frost will fall and in another month the first snow flurries will fly.  There are still splashes of vivid pink from patches of Niviarsiaq the national flower of Greenland but the wildflowers are past their peak and are becoming increasingly difficult to find. 
Mushrooms were more evident and seem abundant.  There aren’t any toxic fungi in Greenland that can be mistaken as edible mushrooms.  
Crowberries were sweet and ripe for the picking. The temptation was great to fill my knapsack as we hiked on a glorious late summer day to the Valley Of The Winds.

We paused on a dark sandy beach that was strewn with bits of bergs that had washed ashore.  Further out we could see humpback whales amongst a flotilla of large icebergs. We walked by wetter areas where Arctic Cotton grass swayed in rhythm with a light cool wind.

The visibility seemed endless.  We could see the tops of the stratified cliffs that hem in the valley.  On a cloudy day you don’t know what you are missing.  We were lucky.
Soon we reached the waterfall and the turn around point of our hike.  A perfect spot to drink some water, sit and relax before making our way back into Qeqertarsuaq.  

 At approximately 16:00 we bid adieu to Qeqertarsuaq and headed north towards Uummannaq and Ukkusisat our destinations for tomorrow.  Hundreds of icebergs dotted the sea. 
What remained of our afternoon was filled with lectures and briefings about our day tomorrow.

In the evening the ship's crew, officers and expedition team entertained us with a fun fashion show.  Whew!  A very full day.