Sunday 7 July 2013

Get To Know Your Ship Mates!

Doh!  Things were going so well, right until we got to Copenhagen.  The final leg of our grand journey, the flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, was delayed by two hours.  Technical difficulties.  Ah well.  The ship, MV Fram, wasn't going anywhere without us.

Eventually we were able to board the Coca-cola red Air Greenland charter jet.  In short we were cleared for take-off and zoom, we were on our way once again.  Flying over Greenland, we had excellent views of the immense Greenland ice cap.  1.7 million square kilometres of ice.  Sapphire blue, icebound lakes dotted the surface of the ice sheet.  It was even more beautiful than what we had imagined. As we approached Kangerlussuaq ,we circled above the fjord and those on the left side of the aircraft were afforded views of Fram anchored at the head of the fjord.
Polar Cirkel boats at Kangerlussuaq Fjord pier.

And then, at 17:30 we landed in sunny Kangerlussuaq.  It was a short walk of about 70metres across the tarmac and into the small terminal.  Inside we were greeted by some of the members of the Expedition Team who immediately escorted us out to the buses that would take us to the ship.  No muss.  No fuss.  No waiting for luggage to arrive. It took about 15 minutes for the buses to drive to the small marina at the head of the fjord where more of the Expedition Team was waiting with a huge stack of red life jackets.  Aslo eating for us were five Polar Cirkel boats and their drivers.  We were quickly ushered into the boats.  Eight people per Polar Cirkel boat and then whisked over to the ship.

Once onboard we were issued I.D. / cruise cards and were shown to our cabins.  It was all so easy!  

Before Fram weighed anchor we all took part in a mandatory safety drill outside on deck five.  Very quickly we were gathered at our muster stations on deck five on both the port and starboard sides of the ship.  We were then given a demonstration of how to don an exposure suit and life jacket should an emergency situation occur.
Luggage barge alongside Fram.

We have journeyed from all over the globe to realize our dream of an arctic adventure in Greenland.  We come from; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.  206 people from 18 disparate countries and cultures unified in the common goals of exploring Greenland, of meeting Greenlandic people and experiencing their culture, of seeing the midnight sun, of seeing glaciers and icebergs and arctic wilderness.    When else will you have so many people from so many different places gathered together under one roof sharing a common interest?  Our advice to you is, don't be shy! Get to know your ship mates.
Mandatory safety drill.