Saturday, 25 June 2011

Spider Town

The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray (Robert Burns).  In Expedition Cruising sometimes it seems you create a plan in order to have something from which to deviate.  You can plan all you want but if the weather or ice are against you, the old plan goes out the window and it's time to be spontaneous.  And that's exactly what happened today.  Like last week, today there was too much ice for us to even get near Ilulissat. 
What were the options?  
The town of Aasiaat was fairly close by and in the right direction... 
Aasiaat is the fifth largest community in Greenland with a population of 3100.  Aasiaat means "spiders" in Greenlandic.
It was amazing how quickly a new plan was put together by the Expedition Leader Anja Erdmann.  By mid-morning key people in Aasiaat had been contacted and a nice program arranged for us. At 14:00 we began landing operations. The museum and tourism office opened for us.  Coffee and cakes were available in the community centre at 16:00 as well as crafts for sale and a performance by the local people. At 17:00 the church opened and the choir sang for us, after which we were free to roam on our own until 20:00.  At 21:00 we were entertained in the Observation Lounge by a drum dancer from town.  It was quite impressive that so much had been arranged on but a moment's notice.  This was Fram's first visit to this delightful town.  They were so cooperative I couldn't help wondering if we would see them again?

The Aasiaat coat of arms is a stylized spider web on a blue and white background.  Blue representing the oceans surrounding Greenland and white representing the Greenland ice sheet.