Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Until Next Year Ukkusissat!

Photo © Mark McDermott
Everyone knows the expression Carpe Diem. Seize the day. When you’re mid summer north of the Arctic Circle and the sun never sets, there is a lot more of the day to seize. We took full advantage of those long hours of glorious sunshine. We were busy from just after breakfast until 23:00 hours. It was a very long and rewarding day for everyone but then, everyday on Fram is quite busy. After your vacation on from, going back to work will be a chance to catch up on your rest.

Photo © Mark McDermott

We started our landing operations in Uummannaq at 10:00. Once again there was lots of sunshine and very little wind. Absolutely ideal conditions.

Photo © Mark McDermott
Optional excursions today included:
• A boat trip and then a walk in The Red Desert. ( Hm. Whenever I think of the Red Desert I wonder why it isn’t called The Yellow Desert because it is definitely yellow and not red.)

Photo © A. Wenzel
• A really excellent lunch buffet of Greenlandic foods at the Uummannaq Hotel. If you’re a real foodie than this was the spot to be. Lunch always features local delicacies such as muskox, caribou, whale meat, seal meat, halibut, Greenland shrimps, capelin, as well as various salads.

• A talk with a local hunter. This was an opportunity to learn more about the way of life in Greenland.
If you didn’t choose any of the optional excursions then you were free to go exploring on your own.

Photo © A. Wenzel
As usual when we are in Uummannaq, everyone is welcome to join the Expedition Team on a hike to Santa’s Hut which is located at the base of Uummannaq mountain. This is a very popular hike of medium difficulty which people of average fitness can easily do. The faster walkers arrived at Santa’s Hut in 45 minutes where the Hotel Staff was waiting with coffee, tea, cakes and cookies laid out on the rocks. The ABs had chauffeured the hotel staff around the island in the Polar Cirkel boats!

Photo © A. Wenzel
After a twenty minute break, we continued on our way back to Uummannaq and the ship. It really could not have been better weather for hiking.

At 17:00 Fram picked up the anchor and we headed off for the second port of call for the day Ukkusissat. It was our final call in Ukkusissat for this season which is always a sad occasion for those of us working on Fram. Over the years we have seen the children grow into young men and women. They are our friends. It is always nice to see them and at the end of the Greenland season a little difficult to say good-bye.
As usual, we invited the people from the village onboard Fram where they entertained us with Greenlandic folk singing and dancing. They also modeled some of their traditional clothing. The singing and dancing wrapped up around 21:00 at which point we hopped in the Polar Cirkel boats and enjoyed the later part of the evening in the village. In the town centre there was coffee, tea and cake available.
At 22:45 it was time to go back to the ship and to say our final good-byes.
Until next year Ukkusissat!