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.
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).
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).
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.