Greenland safari

  Well into our forth week in Greenland we are slowly ticking the wild life boxes. On our visit to Sukkertoppen we were welcomed by a Sperm whale who saluted us with a nice fluke before he left us. These great marine mammals are well distributed over the seven seas but only the males make it up into the polar regions. Their main diet is giant squat of which they can consume a ton a day. The squat lives at great depths and so the whales are known to regularly dive up to a 1000 meters. Apart from its distinguish tale fluke we knew it was a sperm whale because of its spout witch was well of centre to the port side. I had never seen one this close and could not get enough of it. It seemed like he was charging up for another deep dive of maybe an hour or more.

  Sukkertoppen was a place where Dutch English and German whalers used to gather in the 17th century. It revers to the mountain peeks in the back with there white tops. Its Inuit name is Maniitsoq (nothing wrong with the spelling control..) and is a busy little fishing port. The local kids made most of the summer weather in there wetsuits, jumping of the 3 meter high kay side. The west coast is so much different then the east coast of 3 weeks ago. The west Greenland current which branches of the Gulfstream, keeps it well clear of ice. This makes navigation a bit easier…

  The west coast has some great inshore routs. Some of the passages are not much wider than the ship. We make good use of them while the winds are slack. Inshore it is also a lot les foggy and there is plenty to see. Every part of the trip we are followed by seals. They closely watch us because in these area the are the main course on many menus… When we are forced out of the inshore passages because of the limited depth we are soon greeted by whales. So far we have regularly seen Sein and Fin whales. It is hard to belief anyone would want to harm these giants. Different times the were when the Bowhead whale was nearly driven to extension in these waters. They where a desirable prey for the early whaler. This because they did not sink when killed. They have been protected for nearly a hundred years, but there numbers are only starting to increase since the last few years. The animals can live up to two hundred years so the reproducing takes a little longer….

  After the continues absence of any wind we where happy to be blown out of Kangerlussuatsiaq early one morning. The anchorage we used was the same as Bill Tillman did when he explored the great climbing opportunities in the area in 1962. On this trip we have found many of his footsteps and it is always nice to read up on the stories of this great adventurer. When we came out of the fjord we wasted no time in reefing the main sail and getting ready to spin of some miles. 6 hours later we where at anchor again 60 miles to the north. Now that is passage making!

  Not every day is like that of course. Sometimes one has to work hard if he wants to achieve a certain goal. We are now slowly creeping north and enjoying the scenery. Back in the arctic region as we crossed the ever shifting line yesterday morning. Nearly at Disko bay where another chapter of this trip will start. The many glaciers that calf there bergs in the sea are a great attraction on there own. Hopefully with a Bowhead whale or two…

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