Sunday 7 July 2013

The place to cross over

Hello? Anybody out there?
Hard to tell - the fog that started to roll in during the night is getting thicker and thicker, a soft shroud on the white giant's shoulders. Beautiful as it may be, it also deprives us of the view AND we have to go slower.
Not a problem, though, since we have another round of lectures going on in the morning. Then there is the packing to be done, the last souvenirs to be bought, the last landing to be prepared. And everybody is heaving a sigh today - this week just zoomed by, wasn't it just yesterday we took the bus down to the fjord where FRAM waited for us...?!
Well, ok, it isn't over yet: Around lunchtime we reach Itilleq, a charming place set on a tiny peninsula just around the corner of Søndre Strømfjord, at the end of which lies Kangerlussuaq, point of departure tomorrow night(Blimey, everything reminds of leaving!).
Not only is Itilleq well protected and full of fish, it also features a topography that made it very attractive in the old days: It is flat in the background, so flat that you could carry an Umiak (the bigger boats that were also used for whale hunting) from here right into the Great Fjord - a wonderful shortcut, saving days of travel. Hence the name: Itilleq means "the low part where you can cross".
Heaving boats, that's exactly what also our kayakers do for the last time (Darn!), getting them from fjord to lake and back.
At the same time the Norwegian officers took a small group out for fishing. Go fishing with those guys and you can't fail! About 400 kilogram of cod and a few others came out of the sea, food for days!

Speaking of food, on this final day we were invited into the houses of the inhabitants of Itilleq for Kaffemik, that is coffee and cake. There even was a party going on - Inuuinni Pilluarit, Happy Birthday!
With so much cake in the belly it is obvious that you get a little slower, and that was reflected by the result of the soccer game, 6:3 for Itilleq, FRAM's winning streak is over. But what a fun that was!
Captain's Farewell was followed by the Charity auction, "crown jewel" being the nautical chart adorned by five wonderful water-colour paintings by Miki Jacobsen, the famous Greenlandic artist.
Thank you everyone for participating, you are helping the Greenlandic Children with it.
And this is the moment where the expedition team would like to extend a big thanks to all of you who made this voyage such a good-spirited one. THANK YOU!