Saturday, 9 June 2012

Where are all the angels now...

... could have been the question coming up in the morning? We all were introduced to the ice chart yesterday which already showed an ice coverage in front of Ilulissat of approximately 8/10 to 9/10- which means that most of the survace is covered with ice. But to hear it- and then to see it is a different story.
It became evident that this time the ice chart was correct and that nature will show us the boundaries. Even though we have made our plans, excursions were booked- now we are in the Arctic and nature rules. The ice belt in front of Ilulissat was 7.5nautical miles wide. Just before 8am, Anja came over the loud speaker to give the news of the cancellation- and introduced at the same time the new morning activity. The vessel moved to a location for good navigation- and everyone had the chance in the morning to go via the small Polar Cirkle boats sailing among the ice! It was in itself an incredible, mind blowing experience in not only seeing the majesty of the ice, but also hearing the sounds of it. If you ever though that ice is silent- think again!
The great surrounding was used as well and during lunch time we welcomed a royal visitor on board: Not an angel, but King Neptun in person had made it to deck 5 to welcome the "new comers" to his kingdom as we crossed the Polar Cirkle yesterday!

But that was not it! Calls were made, plans scheduled, piers booked- and we found ourselves wandering around the town of Qasiannguit in the afternoon. This picturesque town of 1.300 inhabitants is situated in the southern area of Diskobay and carries the name "Pearl of the Disko Bay" with pride- and with justice.
As soon as we were docked, the expedition team took us in teams through the place and we ended up in the museum area. Since the morning, the town has been busy in preparing for our arrival and that was clearly visible now. We had locals telling about the museum area, showing old Inuit games that we could also try out, an older gentleman had brought his sledge down and his lead dog. Others were taken to an old Turf hut - and all of us enjoyed the friendliness of Qasiannguit!
The highlight was definately the choir who had invited us to come into the local church! The candles were lit in the church, the choir sang, some members wore the National Costumes and it was a great ending of a nice surprise stay.

Now we are sailing out Diskobay. The midnight sun shines, there are icebergs around and the sea is calm. Maybe the day did not turn out how it was planned- but we all agree that our day has been extraordinary...The word we always heard on this voyage was "Immaqa"- which means in Greenlandic "maybe- or maybe not". And today we understood the real meaning of it.