From Arctic to Antarctic and back to the Arctic

Between July 2019 and July 2020 we have made our way from the Arctic to the Antarctic and with crossing the Arctic Circle last week, we have now made it back to the Arctic again! All these miles in one year! Big steps for a small boat! Circumnavigating the Americas with only one goal! Connecting all these beautiful places by the foam in our wake. Showing everyone who wants to see, how precious our planet is. The rush of setting of into a new world is addictive. No matter how well the trip is planned there will always be little surprises that catch you of guard. For example the cumulus cloud gently sweeping by in Peel Sound, the middle of the North West Passage. They came drifting in from the tundra many miles to the south and created a friendly atmosphere in a hostile environment filed with ice, magnificent! It is these little wonders we are looking for and we often find them in far flung places, either forgotten or unreachable or both!

So many special places

Scoresbysund or Kangertittivag on the west coast of Greenland is one of those places that makes the blood run faster. Impenetrable for most of the year and only open from sea for 3 months. When I say open that is only relative. These shores are well protected by the East Greenland current, flowing from north to south bringing with them the pack ice! The ice keeps the marvels of the big fjord systems well hidden. Ittoqqortoormiit (“a place where many people live”) is the main village at the mouth of the world’s biggest fjord system. It is protected by Cape Tobin on the north shore and the notorious Cape Brewster to the south. Inside the fjord system the micro climate is warmer and suits the Muskoxen well. Polar bear can be spotted on the ice flowers, where they hunt for seal. When lucky enough there might be a glimpse of the Narwhal.   Surrounded by towering peaks with summits way over 2000 meters it is hard to belief the bottom under the ship is another 1000 meters. The glaciers that used to extend from Greenlands ice cap have done a good job at shaping this landscape.

Current ice chart of East Greenland

We set of from Isafjordur, Iceland on a mini expedition. The first days are spent exploring the green and lush fjords of the Westfjords. In particular Hornstrandir. A delight full nature reserve on the north west coast of Iceland. This time of year it is a very busy place! Not with people but with wild live! Most of the chicks have fledged and those who haven’t are running out of time. The parents are taking turns in to bring in the catch of the day.

Our great example is one of the smallest species, the Arctic Tern. These brave little birds fly from the Arctic to Antarctic back to the Arctic to mate. A truly endless summer!

Arctic Tern

For the Arctic foxes it is also rush hour. They see the days are getting shorter and know that winter wont belong. Being able to visit these places and taking part in this annual migration of birds whales fish gives me a true feeling of belonging. Together chasing the sun.

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