Northwest Passage (2)

Apparently, the fact that I was able to get the previous post published while still on our vessel in the Arctic Circle ranks as a minor miracle because it was the only time I had access to sufficient bandwidth.  So the following series will be a post-trip report on the highlights.

After departing Kangerlussuak, our first stop was in the small city of Sisimiut, Greenland so our vessel could be fueled and provisioned for the long voyage ahead.  The town of about 5,000-6,000 is the second largest in Greenland and the fishing industry is the primary economic activity.

 

arctic-d-16-08-17-0532-blog

Sisimiut Harbor

Illulissat (mentioned in the previous post) was still one day away, so we took the opportunity to explore Sisimiut hoping to find a post office to mail some post cards.  Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland that has an ice-free harbor in the winter.  It has been a settlement for 4,500 years and today combines traditional Inuit culture with the practices of Western society.  The average high temperatures in August are in the mid-40s (Fahrenheit).

arctic-d-16-08-17-0537-blogSisimiut Marina

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Hillside Overview of Sisimiut

We stopped in several establishments asking for directions, an interesting exercise given that neither English, French nor Spanish were spoken by anyone we met.  Here one needs to know Inuit and/or Danish. The usual response was to point in the general direction we already were heading.  The image below shows a view of the Pisiffik supermarket which was full of the same products we might find at home and a few that we would not (e.g., seal liver).

arctic-d-16-08-17-0562-blogPisiffik Supermarket

A small café had sandwiches and drinks plus a TV showing the Rio Olympics.  We managed to communicate an order and then sat down to watch a few heats of the 800-meter women’s race. The food was pretty good and afterwards we continued the search for the post office which we finally located.  Stamps and cards were purchased with Euros and change was provided with Danish Kroner.

But tomorrow, we hoped, the true excitement would begin.  We would arrive in Disko Harbor to see the fabled Ilulissat Icefjord, the glacier designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   It is considered to be the most productive (in the sense of producing enormous icebergs) glacier in the northern hemisphere.

Stay tuned…….

12 thoughts on “Northwest Passage (2)

  1. Robin, I did enjoy this brief glimpse of Greenland and your photographs are gorgeous. The brightly painted buildings reminded me somewhat of my trip to Newfoundland earlier in the summer. I’ll look forward to part 3 in the story of your amazing voyage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dorry. The bright colors of the buildings is characteristic of the villages in Greenland. The town of Ilulissat had a similar look, providing a colorful contrast to the muted colors of the landscape.

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  2. I flew over the Southern tip of Greenland on my way to Iceland in late September. It was late evening and there was hardly any daylight left. It appeared that the land was covered with snow/ice and there were just a few lights, maybe fishing boats on the water. I wondered from above what Greenland was really like…

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