Saturday, 15 June 2013

Done Like Dinner

There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end
 until it be thoroughly finished, yields the true glory.
Sir Francis Drake  (c 1540-1596) in a dispatch to Sir Francis Walsingham 17 May 1587 

It was a beautiful morning for cruising to Itilleq.  We had mostly clear blue sunny skies once again.  
Itilleq lies just north of the Arctic Circle by about 200 metres.  Unfortunately the circle passes on a tiny island just a stone's throw away, otherwise we could have walked to the Circle!  With the water at ~5˚ C it is definitely too cold to swim over!  But I think a scant 200 metres is negligible and that we all can claim that we spent the afternoon on the Arctic Circle.
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer

After we dropped anchor at 12:45, we had a short boat ride to the pier where we were given colour coded tickets to a kaffeemik.  We were all invited into the local people's homes for tea, coffee and cakes. The tickets insured we arrived to the correct house.
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer

Photo © Esther Kokmeijer
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer
We had some new, really cool excursions to offer everyone today.  Several people were able to go out fishing for Arctic Char in our Polar Cirkel boats while another group went exploring the  shoreline around Itilleq in sea kayaks.  The fishermen caught fish and the kayakers had a great time.
"A quick glance at their lineup and we knew we were "done like dinner" before the game even started.
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer
At 15:00 we started the traditional soccer match of Fram vs Itilleq.  Those of us that have played for team Fram on multiple occasions know the Itilleq team very well.  A quick glance at their lineup and we knew we were "done like dinner" before the game even started.  All their best players showed up today.  Last week many of them were out hunting or fishing. We had an excellent start right up until the opening kick-off.  From there it went steadily downhill.  
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer
The final result was Itilleq 10, Fram 2.  Despite the lop-sided score everyone had fun.  I think there were somewhere around thirty players on the small gravel pitch at once and there were lots of enthusiastic supporters for both teams.

Last week we had noticed that their soccer ball was in rough shape so we went shopping in Ilulissat yesterday and today presented team Itilleq with a brand new ball.  We also gave them Fram t-shirts and a Hurtigruten flag.
Itilleq Goal Keeper Has Something To Do!
Photo © Esther Kokmeijer
The new t-shirts made it much easier to identify who was on which team and the new flag was flapping merrily in the breeze  over Itilleq before we departed at 16:45.

At 18:30 we were invited to the Observation Lounge where we shared a cocktail and the Captain gave a warm farewell speech.  There were tears in more than one eye when the MV Fram sang the farewell song "A Beautiful Voyage."

Tonight Miki Jacobsen will be singing once again in the Observation Lounge and tomorrow promises to be a full day in Kangerlussuaq.