Friday 5 July 2013

An Ice Alternative

Ice Barricade in Front of Ilulissat
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  The time is 7am. We are now at our closest possible approach to Ilulissat but we are still between 7 and 8 nautical miles away.  If you look ahead you can see that our passage is completely blocked by ice.  Therefore we will have to cancel our planned stop in Ilulissat and now switch to our backup plan which is to pay a visit to the town of Qasigianguit.  We will reach Qasigiannguit at approximately 10:00.  The town folk have prepared a variety of activities for us which will be available throughout the day."  And so started our day.

The best thing about Ilulissat is the ice.  The worst thing about Ilulissat is the ice.  When we come to Greenland we want to see ice and lots of it.  Ilulissat is the ice capital of the northern hemisphere.  Actually it's the ice capital for most of the planet because Sermec Kujaleq glacier located right beside Ilulissat produces more calved ice than anywhere else in the world, outside of Antarctica.  Sometimes all of that ice can be problematic, especially when winds and tides conspire to push the ice into a massive barricade in front of Ilulissat.  

What can you do?  Get over it and switch to the backup plan and Qasigiannguit is an excellent plan B.  First of all, the town is beautiful, situated on the ocean's edge and surrounded by lots of icebergs (but not too many like in Ilulissat)!
Youngsters of Qasigiannguit Music Demonstration

And here's a list of the activities that occurred throughout the day: Museum (open all day), peat house (open all day), "Experience Thule Culture" a reenactment with clothing and tools from early Thule culture, Music by youngsters at the museum at 13:00 and 15:00, dog sled talk and demonstration at 12:00 and 15:00, Greenland folk dance exhibition at 14:00 and 16:00, Arnat Illuat (the women's house) where the women offered traditional craftwork for sale as well as coffee, tea and cake,  and finally the choir performed at the church at 17:00.
Dog sled talk and demonstration

As you can see there was a lot going on and we had all day to do it.  And once again our luck continued with this amazing streak of good weather.
Qasigiannguit choir

At 19:30 we cast off our lines and waved goodbye to the great people of Qasigiannguit.  Tomorrow is the big soccer match in Itilleq