Thursday, 19 June 2014

Soaking Up The Sunshine In Greenland!

What a day! We woke up to blue skies and sun just beaming all over the place.  Already by 07:30 it was 12ºC.  The air was so clear that the sun seemed extra bright.  The colours more vibrant. It seemed that you could see forever.
These were absolutely ideal conditions for an excursion on the water in our Polar Cirkel boats.  Immense icebergs loomed aground just outside the tiny harbour of Qasigiannguit.  Nearly 100 people elected to go cruising amongst the ice giants.  It was a wonderful experience on a perfect day, never to be forgotten.
It was so sunny that unusual green reflections were being cast on some of the icebergs.  The water itself was a luminescent green at the base of the iceberg.  Depending on the angle of the sun and the ice in the water, green light sometimes reflected off the water and onto the face of the iceberg.
The reason for the green coloured water is because there is so much phytoplankton blooming right now.  We are nearing summer solstice and with 24 hours of sunshine the microscopic plant life in the Arctic Ocean is exploding with growth.

There was a large program of activities arranged by the people of Qasigiannguit.  This was the first visit of Fram to this small community this year.  And in fact this was our first pre-arranged visit as in the past we had used Qasigiannguit as a back up plan for when there was too much ice to make it to Ilulissat. 
These townsfolk were prepared for us!  At 09:30 the kindergarten children and escorts were on the pier to welcome us.  We then returned the favour by invited them all up to deck seven to meet everyone on the ship.
The schedule of activities prepared by the local people included: an exhibition of hunting and fishing gear, an open peat-house, clothing and tools from the late Thule culture with locals dressed in period costume reenacting by the museum, craftwork displays at The Women’s House, a dog sled demonstration/explanation by locals and the choir singing at the church.
At 15:00 Fram departed the pier in beautiful Qasigiannguit and headed once again into Disko Bay.
As we cruised into the early evening we encountered more and more ice.  Indeed we began to see remnants of open sea ice from last winter.
At 21:00 Michael entertained everyone in the Observation Lounge.