Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

Our ship anchored in Feacham Bay off Buchan Gulf, further north on Baffin Island, Canada, from our prior anchorage in San Ford Fjord -- Buchan Gulf, surrounded by tall, weather-worn cliffs

Our ship anchored in Feacham Bay off Buchan Gulf, further north on Baffin Island, Canada, from our prior anchorage in San Ford Fjord — Buchan Gulf, surrounded by tall, weather-worn cliffs, is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of the Inuit settlement town of Pond Inlet

 

From San Ford Fjord on Baffin Island, we sailed north overnight and the next morning we anchored in Feacham Bay off Buchan Gulf, further north on Baffin Island, Canada.  Buchan Gulf, surrounded by tall, weather-worn cliffs, is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of the Inuit settlement town of Pond Inlet [see an upcoming blog].  The Feacham Bay area, where we went ashore, was home to a small community of Thule natives (ancestors of all modern Inuit) around 500 years ago, with the remains of three semi-subterranean round homes built in the traditional Thule style still remaining above the beach.  The tundra was very rich in flora, but all plants were quite small and low to the ground in order to survive in the harsh and strong winds as well as the 8-9 months of snow and ice on the ground.

 

The beach where we did a Zodiac landing for a hike was strewn with debris left from settlements and short-term summer stays, Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

The beach where we did a Zodiac landing for a hike was strewn with debris left from settlements and short-term summer stays, Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

The remains of a large canoe that supported two outboard motors (indicating it was from the 20th century) on the beach at Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada; the “carcass” looks like a fish skeleton

The remains of a large canoe that supported two outboard motors (indicating it was from the 20th century) on the beach at Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada; the “carcass” looks like a fish skeleton

 

The dugout remains and stone walls of one of three Thule semi-subterranean round homes built in the traditional Thule style still remaining on the beach; our naturalist told us they are about 500 years old, and still in good condition

The dugout remains and stone walls of one of three Thule semi-subterranean round homes built in the traditional Thule style still remaining on the beach; our naturalist told us they are about 500 years old, and still in good condition; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

Our coastal hike took us over varied terrain, with the hillside littered with large stones dragged down by glaciers (moraine) and below that tundra and bogs and pools of water that were difficult to walk through; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf

Our coastal hike took us over varied terrain, with the hillside littered with large stones dragged down by glaciers (moraine) and below that tundra and bogs and pools of water that were difficult to walk through; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

So called “Arctic cotton” plants (Eriophorum callitrix) were scattered over the tundra; according to our Inuit guide, the “cotton”, one of the most widespread flowering plants in the northern tundra regions, was picked by Inuits to use as wicks

So called “Arctic cotton” plants (Eriophorum callitrix) were scattered over the tundra; according to our Inuit guide, the “cotton”, one of the most widespread flowering plants in the northern tundra regions, was picked by Inuits to use as wicks in whale and seal oil lamps for light in their homes; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

A dwarf Arctic tundra willow tree (yes, the bush pictured is a tree!), which grows close to the ground (tundra) and normally spreads laterally, rather than vertically, due to the high Arctic winds

A dwarf Arctic tundra willow tree (yes, the bush pictured is a tree!), which grows close to the ground (tundra) and normally spreads laterally, rather than vertically, due to the high Arctic winds; our naturalist said this tree, growing in the lee shelter of the large boulder, is the largest he has seen on Baffin Island; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

Wild mushrooms growing in the moist tundra; our Inuit guide says almost all tundra mushrooms are eaten by the Inuit; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

Wild mushrooms growing in the moist tundra; our Inuit guide says almost all tundra mushrooms are eaten by the Inuit; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

This wetland bog, with beautiful mosses, was one of many that we had to walk around on our hike through the tundra below the solid ground and stone moraine of the higher grounl; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

This wetland bog, with beautiful mosses, was one of many that we had to walk around on our hike through the tundra below the solid ground and stone moraine of the higher grounl; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

These wild blueberries were almost at the peak of flavor just before the end of the brief summer season; our Inuit guide noted that they are picked and eaten by the Inuit who savor the fresh berries for just a short period each year

These wild blueberries, growing on the tundra, were almost at the peak of flavor just before the end of the brief summer season; our Inuit guide noted that they are picked and eaten by the Inuit who savor the fresh berries for just a short period each year; Feacham Bay, Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

 

Helicopter Flight above Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

The cliffs and glaciers of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) on the northeast side of Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic Territory of Nunavut, as seen from an upper deck of our ship

The cliffs and glaciers of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) on the northeast side of Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic Territory of Nunavut, as seen from an upper deck of our ship

 

One of the great experiences on our expedition through the Northwest Passage this summer was taking helicopter flights over regions that we sailed through.  Our first flight was after our brief stop at Clyde River in southern Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut, Canada, in the eastern region of the Canadian Arctic, where the helicopter joined our ship on deck 7’s forward helicopter pad.  Shown below are some photos of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) from the ship before our helicopter ride and a photo from our apartment’s deck as we sailed out of the fjord.  The fjord is highly regarded for the harsh beauty of its landscapes with rocky cliffs rising steeply from the shore.  The fjord is 110 kilometers (68 miles) long.  Above the cliffs are numerous glaciers which we flew over (and photographed).  The cliffs rise steeply (some go straight up) from the fjord’s shores to heights up to 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level.

 

“Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) lies on Baffin Island’s northeastern coast in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut.  It was named in memory of Sam Ford.  Ford is recognized as Canada’s most outstanding Inuk linguist and died tragically in a helicopter crash.  The Inuit settlement of Pond Inlet is 320 km to the northwest. Sam Ford Fjord is a traditional hunting area for the Inuit.” — https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/the-places/sam-ford-fiord/

 

A close up of a glacier flowing down to Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) on the northeast side of Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic Territory of Nunavut

A close up of a glacier flowing down to Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) on the northeast side of Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic Territory of Nunavut

 

Our ship’s helicopter just before boarding and our take off to explore Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

Our ship’s helicopter just before boarding and our take off to explore Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

A photograph of our ship in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), taken from the helicopter as we flew further into the fjord, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

A photograph of our ship in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), taken from the helicopter as we flew further into the fjord, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #2

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #2

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #3

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #3 — take away the water and the ice and the rock formations look like some areas in the Southwest of the United States

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #4

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #4

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #5

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #5

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #6

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #6

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #7

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #7

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #8

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #8

 

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #10

Aerial photo of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, #9

 

The rock face of one of the sheer cliffs in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, as seen on a Zodiac cruise through the fjord from our ship (in the afternoon, after the helicopter flight)

The rock face of one of the sheer cliffs in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, as seen on a Zodiac cruise through the fjord from our ship (in the afternoon, after the helicopter flight)

 

A hanging glacier flowing down one of the sheer cliffs in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, with melt water from under the glacier exiting into the fjord as a thundering, large waterfall

A hanging glacier flowing down one of the sheer cliffs in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, with melt water from under the glacier exiting into the fjord as a thundering, large waterfall, as seen on a Zodiac cruise through the fjord from our ship

 

A close up of the hanging glacier and its waterfall flowing down one of the sheer cliffs (above) in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

A close up of the hanging glacier and its waterfall flowing down one of the sheer cliffs (above) in Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The view of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) from our apartment’s deck as we sailed out of the fjord, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

The view of Sam Ford Fjord (Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti) from our apartment’s deck as we sailed out of the fjord, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Cruising through the Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #1

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #1

 

“The Ilulissat Icefjord is filled with icebergs that calve from Sermeq Kujalleq, the fastest moving glacier in the world (40 meters / 131 feet daily).  The Ilulissat Icefjord is the same area as 66,000 football fields.  It reaches 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) wide and approximately 55 kilometers (34 miles) long, but is growing longer as glacier retreat occurs due to climate change.  Sermeq Kujalleq runs directly from the Greenland ice Cap, and it produces 10% of all icebergs in Greenland.  The Ilulissat Icefjord became one of the UNERSCO World Heritage Sites in 2004.” — https://visitgreenland.com/things-to-do/ilulissat-icefjord/

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #2 – we were fortunate on our boat ride through the icebergs to see several pods of humpback whales (easy to spot in the water with the enormous number of birds circling overhead)

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #2 – we were fortunate on our boat ride through the icebergs to see several pods of humpback whales (easy to spot in the water with the enormous number of birds circling overhead)

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #3

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #3

 

“Icebergs breaking from the glacier are often so large — up to a kilometer (3,300 ft) in height — that they are too tall to float down the fjord and lie stuck on the bottom of its shallower areas, sometimes for years, until they are broken up by the force of the glacier and icebergs further up the fjord.  On breaking up the icebergs emerge into the open sea and initially travel north with ocean currents before turning south and running into the Atlantic Ocean.  Larger icebergs typically do not melt until they reach 40-45 degrees north —further south than the United Kingdom and level with New York City.” — Wikipedia

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #4

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #4

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #5

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #5

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #6

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #6

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #7

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #7

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #8

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #8

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #9

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #9

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #10

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #10

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #11

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #11

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #12

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #12

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #13

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #13

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #14

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #14

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #15

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #15

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #16

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland #16

 

Aptly named, Ilulissat (icebergs) is the third largest settlement in Greenland and is Greenland’s most popular tourist destination on account of its proximity to the picturesque Ilulissat Icefjord

Aptly named, Ilulissat (icebergs) is the third largest settlement in Greenland and is Greenland’s most popular tourist destination on account of its proximity to the picturesque Ilulissat Icefjord

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Ilulissat, Greenland

Our ship sailed into Ilulissat, Greenland, across Disko Bay; this area is rich in marine life and there are many icebergs that originate from Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere

Our ship sailed into Ilulissat, Greenland, across Disko Bay; this area is rich in marine life and there are many icebergs that originate from Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere (about 55 kilometers / 34 miles up the fjord from Ilulissat), filling the fjord at Ilulissat with some of the largest icebergs found outside of the Antarctic

 

Aptly named, Ilulissat (icebergs) is the third largest settlement in Greenland with a population of 4,453.  Ilulissat is also Greenland’s most popular tourist destination on account of its proximity to the picturesque Ilulissat Icefjord, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.  The town itself is located at 69°13’N, 051°06’W, about 124.27 mi / 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. Inuit settlements have existed in the area of the icefjord for at least 3,000 years.  The modern town was founded in 1741 by Danish missionary, Poul Egede for trader Jakob Severin who had an established trading lodge in the area.

 

Sailing into Ilulissat, Greenland, through Disko Bay #2

Sailing into Ilulissat, Greenland, through Disko Bay #2

 

Sailing into Ilulissat, Greenland, through Disko Bay #3

Sailing into Ilulissat, Greenland, through Disko Bay #3

 

We hiked through Sermermiut, a beautiful valley overlooking the Ilulissat Icefjord, coming to the shoreline of the Icefjord where we had the opportunity to marvel at the fjord completely filled with icebergs of varying sizes

We hiked through Sermermiut, a beautiful valley overlooking the Ilulissat Icefjord, coming to the shoreline of the Icefjord where we had the opportunity to marvel at the fjord completely filled with icebergs of varying sizes, piled seemingly on top of each other; Ilulissat, Greenland

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut valley #2

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut Valley #2

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut valley #3

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut Valley #3

 

Local crowberries (similar to blueberries) growing close to the ground (tundra) in Sermermiut valley, Ilulissat, Greenland

Local crowberries (similar to blueberries) growing close to the ground (tundra) in Sermermiut Valley, Ilulissat, Greenland

 

A willow tree (yes, a tree!) growing close to the ground (tundra) in Sermermiut valley, Ilulissat, Greenland; the plants here have a very short summer growing season and must survive the high winds and cold temperatures

A willow tree (yes, a tree!) growing close to the ground (tundra) in Sermermiut Valley, Ilulissat, Greenland; the plants here have a very short summer growing season and must survive the high winds and cold temperatures, thus they aren’t vertical “trees” like in more temperate climates

 

Tundra ground cover at Sermermiut valley, Ilulissat, Greenland, #1

Tundra ground cover at Sermermiut Valley, Ilulissat, Greenland, #1

 

Tundra ground cover at Sermermiut valley, Ilulissat, Greenland, #2

Tundra ground cover at Sermermiut Valley, Ilulissat, Greenland, #2

 

A panorama of the Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut valley

A panorama of the Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, viewed form Sermermiut Valley

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, #2

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, #2

 

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, #3

The Ilulissat Icefjord, Ilulissat, Greenland, #3

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Assaqutaq Village and Sisimiut, Greenland

Looking back at the entrance to waterfront of the now abandoned Assaqutaq Village, about 10 kilometers - 6 miles from Sisimiut, Greenland – our first port-of-call on our Northwest Passage expedition after sailing north from Nuuk, Greenland

Looking back at the entrance to waterfront of the now abandoned Assaqutaq Village, about 10 kilometers / 6 miles from Sisimiut, Greenland – our first port-of-call on our Northwest Passage expedition after sailing north from Nuuk, Greenland, on a 24-day journey

 

Nuuk, Greenland [see our previous two blog posts] marked the start of our ship’s 24-day expedition to cross the Canadian Arctic region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the so-called “Northwest Passage” – a dream of European (and Russian) governments and adventuresome sailors for five centuries.  While the British Navy lost many ships and hundreds of sailors over the centuries, it was the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, who completed the first transit from 1903 to 1905 in the Gjøa (a sailboat with a small engine) with six men.

Our ship was the first passenger ship in history and the largest vessel in history in 2012 to complete a transit of the Northwest Passage (West to East).  This summer, upon completion of the East to West transit of the Northwest Passage, we will set another record as the first passenger ship in history to have transited in both directions.  Needless to say, everyone aboard, especially our adventuresome captain and crew, are very excited to be on this journey.

From Nuuk, Greenland, we sailed north a day to the last winter ice-free port in western Greenland, Sisimiut, which lies just north of the Arctic Circle.  The town was founded in 1756 as a mission and trading station.  Today it is Greenland’s second largest city with a population of about 5,500 people.

Rather than spend time in town, we opted for a cruise to Assaqutaq Village (about 10 kilometers / 6 miles from Sisimiut) where we had a tour of the former fishing village at the foot of the southern side of Nasaasaq mountain, that is now a summer camp for Sisimiut primary school children.

“Assaqutaq is an abandoned settlement, that was left by the last inhabitant in the 1970s.  During the 1950s to 1970 a depopulation happened in several Greenlandic settlements, as people were forced to move to the larger towns.  Assaqutaq is clear sign, of the industrialization that happened in the colonial period.  The settlement comes to life during the summer period, as it is used as a place for summer camps, that the local primary schools hold.  Apart from the school children, the local people also enjoy the settlement in the summer, as it is a place for fishing ammassat (capelin fish), which is used as food for the many sled-dogs in Sisimiut and also enjoyed as a snack by the Greenlandic people.  When you arrive at the settlement you can only imagine how it would be to live in a place like this.  We will go a shore and walk through the haunting silence of the settlement.  You will see the old fish factory, that used to be full of life. You will proceed through the settlement to see the place where the summer camp is held, in the charming old church.” — https://guidetogreenland.com/book-holiday-trips/boat-cruise-to-assaqutaq

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #2

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #2

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #3

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #3

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #4

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #4

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #5

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #5

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #6

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #6

 

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #7

Assaqutaq Village, Greenland #7

 

The port of Sisimiut, located just north of the Arctic Circle, was founded in 1756 as a mission and trading station and today is Greenland’s second largest city with a population of about 5,500 people

The port of Sisimiut, located just north of the Arctic Circle, was founded in 1756 as a mission and trading station and today is Greenland’s second largest city with a population of about 5,500 people

 

Homes in Sisimiut, Greenland

Homes in Sisimiut, Greenland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nuuk Fjord Excursion, Nuuk, Greenland

On our boat excursion in Nuuk Fjord from the capital city of Nuuk, we sailed around the island just north of Nuuk -- Sadelø (Sermitsiaq) – that is dominated by Sermitsiaq Mountain (Sadien) at 3,985 feet (1,215 meters)

On our boat excursion in Nuuk Fjord from the capital city of Nuuk, we sailed around the island just north of Nuuk — Sadelø (Sermitsiaq) – that is dominated by Sermitsiaq Mountain (Sadien) at 3,985 feet (1,215 meters)

 

We had the opportunity while visiting Nuuk, Greenland [see our previous blog post, “Nuuk, Greenland”], to join a boat excursion for a tour around Nuuk Fjord.  The waters around Nuuk offer dramatic landscapes with some wildlife viewing opportunities.  The dominant peak in the fjord is on the neighboring island of Sadelø (Sermitsiaq) – Sermitsiaq Mountain (Sadien) (3,985 feet / 1,215 meters).  We went by many glacial melt waterfalls, icebergs in the fjord and quite a few birds.  While sometimes there are humpback whales in the fjord in the summer, we unfortunately didn’t spot any.

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #2

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #2

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #3

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #3

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #4

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #4

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #5

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #5

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #6

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #6

 

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #7

Nuuk Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland #7

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nuuk, Greenland

In addition to the celebration of Greenlandic art at the Nuuk Art Museum, there are many outdoor displays of art, such as this sculpture in the capital city’s pedestrian shopping mall

In addition to the celebration of Greenlandic art at the Nuuk Art Museum, there are many outdoor displays of art, such as this sculpture in the capital city’s pedestrian shopping mall

 

Nuuk, the capital and largest city of Greenland, is a stylish Arctic metropolis characterized by Greenlandic culture and international influence.  It’s a little known fact that although it is Greenland’s largest and capital city, Nuuk is actually one of the world’s smallest capital cities based on population (16,800), despite that approximately one-quarter of the country’s total population lives in Nuuk.  Summertime activities range from fishing and kayaking among fjords to spotting humpback whales off the shore.  This summer’s activities also included the guessing game of how serious U.S. President Donald Trump is about his real estate offer to Denmark to purchase the whole of Greenland (mostly covered in ice).

 

The pedestrian shopping mall in the center of downtown Nuuk (population 16,800), Greenland

The pedestrian shopping mall in the center of downtown Nuuk (population 16,800), Greenland

 

These beautiful colored musk ox wool sweaters stood out from most of the local plain grey, soft and extremely warm musk ox wool products available for sale in Nuuk, Greenland

These beautiful colored musk ox wool sweaters stood out from most of the local plain grey, soft and extremely warm musk ox wool products available for sale in Nuuk, Greenland

 

The Katuaq Cultural Center’s (Grønlands Kulturhus) distinctive architecture and undulating wooden screen is inspired by Greenland’s landscape of icebergs and mountains, Nuuk, Greenland

The Katuaq Cultural Center’s (Grønlands Kulturhus) distinctive architecture and undulating wooden screen is inspired by Greenland’s landscape of icebergs and mountains, Nuuk, Greenland; the multipurpose building hosts theatre, concerts, exhibitions, cinema, conferences and a café

 

A beautifully carved small statue of a polar bear and whale, Nuuk, Geenland

A beautifully carved small statue of a polar bear and whale, Nuuk, Greenland

 

A modern apartment complex in downtown Nuuk, Geenland

A modern apartment complex in downtown Nuuk, Greenland

 

Typical brightly colored homes and apartments in Nuuk, Geenland

Typical brightly colored homes and apartments in Nuuk, Geenland

 

An older church in the Colonial harbor section of Nuuk, Geenland

An older church in the Colonial harbor section of Nuuk, Greenland

 

Historic whale blubber presses (to extract whale oil), Nuuk, Geenland

Historic whale blubber presses (to extract whale oil), Nuuk, Greenland

 

Our ship is visible in the main harbor-port of Nuuk, Geenland; note that outside of the main part of town, there is a new container port which is critical for commerce and supply in Greenland

Our ship is visible in the main harbor/port of Nuuk, Greenland; note that outside of the main part of town, there is a new container port which is critical for commerce and supply in Greenland

 

Across the bay from the harbor, a whole new residential “suburb” has been constructed, with schools, a grocery store, etc., with another section under way; Nuuk, Geenland

Across the bay from the harbor, a whole new residential “suburb” has been constructed, with schools, a grocery store, etc., with another section under way; Nuuk, Greenland

 

The relatively new local college, Nuuk, Geenland

The relatively new local college, Nuuk, Greenland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Qaqortoq, Greenland

The small harbor, “downtown” and residential neighborhoods of the coastal city, Qaqortoq, southern Greenland’s largest town (and the fourth largest in the country) and one of Greenland’s most friendly and colorful settlements

The small harbor, “downtown” and residential neighborhoods of the coastal city, Qaqortoq, southern Greenland’s largest town (and the fourth largest in the country) and one of Greenland’s most friendly and colorful settlements

 

Qaqortoq is southern Greenland’s largest town (and the fourth largest in the country) and one of Greenland’s most friendly and colorful settlements. Beautiful colonial buildings from the town’s founding in 1775 can be found downtown, among them the museum, originally a blacksmith’s shop – set against a picturesque Arctic backdrop.  Around the town visitors can see the “Stone and Man” project, public art installations chiseled into the rocks by local and Scandinavian artists.  We joined a guided walking tours of the town with a local guide who turned out to be the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for Greenland.

 

Homes along the waterfront, viewed from the pier at the harbor of Qaqortoq, southern Greenland’s largest town (and the fourth largest in the country) and one of Greenland’s most friendly and colorful settlements

Homes along the waterfront, viewed from the pier at the harbor of Qaqortoq, southern Greenland’s largest town (and the fourth largest in the country) and one of Greenland’s most friendly and colorful settlements

 

The homes in Qaqortoq, Greenland, are all painted bright primary colors for a psychological boost to the community in the dark winter months of the year

The homes in Qaqortoq, Greenland, are all painted bright primary colors for a psychological boost to the community in the dark winter months of the year

 

A large, stately home in Qaqortoq, Greenland

A large, stately home in Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

Two young Inuit girls who followed us and talked with us on part of our walking tour through Qaqortoq, Greenland

Two young Inuit girls followed us and talked with us on part of our walking tour through Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

The Inuit are the most widespread and perhaps the best known aboriginal people on earth.  As a very large indigenous group inhabiting the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia, the Inuit exhibit many variations in cultural practices and customs.  There are about 160,000 Inuit people living across Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and Russia.  Note that the term Inuit has replaced the name “Eskimo” for the same indigenous peoples.

 

Greenland’s oldest fountain, completed in 1932, is located in the tiny city center of Qaqortoq, surrounded by several historical buildings and cafés

Greenland’s oldest fountain, completed in 1932, is located in the tiny city center of Qaqortoq, surrounded by several historical buildings and cafés

 

Completed in 1932, Greenland’s oldest fountain is located in the tiny city center of Qaqortoq, surrounded by several historical buildings and cafés.  Considering the climate, demand for fountains isn’t too high in Greenland.  In fact, when it was completed in 1932, Mindebrønden (Memorial Fountain) was the only fountain on the entire island.  The fountain also shares the space with the Qaqortoq Museum, formerly a blacksmith’s shop, which now showcases both modern art and Greenlandic handicrafts.

 

A church in Qaqortoq, Greenland, located behind the fountain pictured above

A church in Qaqortoq, Greenland, located behind the fountain pictured above

 

An old house is now the local museum in Qaqortoq, Greenland

An old house is now the local museum in Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

An old settlement house is now the Norse Viking museum in Qaqortoq, Greenland

An old settlement house is now the Norse Viking museum in Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

A nicely decorated and painted home in Qaqortoq, Greenland

A nicely decorated and painted home in Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Hvalsey Church, Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

The site of the abandoned settlement of Thjodhildarstadir, just south of the town of Qaqortoq, Greenland, where there are remains of a 1,000 year-old Norse Viking settlement

The site of the abandoned settlement of Thjodhildarstadir, just south of the town of Qaqortoq, Greenland, where there are remains of a 1,000 year-old Norse Viking settlement

 

The Qaqortoq (Julianehåb) region of Greenland was occupied by up to 4,000 Norse settlers from Iceland between approximately 985 and 1410 A.D.  We had an expedition landing in the abandoned settlement of Thjodhildarstadir, just south of the town of Qaqortoq, southern Greenland’s largest town and its government headquarters [see our upcoming blog post].  From our anchorage, we took Zodiacs — inflatable 20-foot (6 meter) boats — to the shore of Thjodhildarstadir to walk up to the ruins of Hvalsey Church, the largest and one of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period.  Vatican annals contain an account of a wedding here in 1408, the last written evidence of the Viking settlers and the Norse civilization in Greenland.  After a walk among the ruins of the church and a Norse farmstead, we had the opportunity to hike up for views across the fjord.  At the end of the fjord we could see the buildings of a licensed fishery.

 

The ruins of Hvalsey Church, the largest and one of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse Vikingh period, with our ship anchored in the bay at Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

The ruins of Hvalsey Church, the largest and one of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse Vikingh period, with our ship anchored in the bay at Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

 

The ruins of Hvalsey Church; Vatican annals contain an account of a wedding here in 1408, the last written evidence of the Viking settlers and the Norse civilization in Greenland

The ruins of Hvalsey Church; Vatican annals contain an account of a wedding here in 1408, the last written evidence of the Viking settlers and the Norse civilization in Greenland

 

Your blogger with the intrepid explorer at the site of Hvalsey Church, Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

Your blogger with the intrepid explorer at the site of Hvalsey Church, Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

 

The ruins of a Norse farmstead (near the ruins of Hvalsey Church), Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

The ruins of a Norse farmstead (near the ruins of Hvalsey Church), Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

 

At the end of the fjord we could see the buildings of a licensed fishery, Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

At the end of the fjord we could see the buildings of a licensed fishery, Thjodhildarstadir, Greenland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland

Prins Christian Sund offers a protected course from southeastern to southwestern Greenland, and is one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features

Prins Christian Sund offers a protected course from southeastern to southwestern Greenland, and is one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features

 

Our ship left Iceland and set a course for Greenland across the Denmark Strait, sailing in the wake of Erik the Red.  Connecting the Denmark Strait with Davis Strait, Prins Christian Sund offers a protected course from southeastern to southwestern Greenland, and is one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features.  This glacially carved fjord system, over 50 miles (80 kilometers) long, crosses Greenland’s southern tip, connecting the east and west coasts by an in-shore route.  On entering this narrow channel, our ship was dwarfed by mountains towering to 6,600 feet (2,000 meters) on either side and glaciers tumbling down to sea level.  The water was quite placid and the crisp scent of ice filled the air.  On either side of the Sund, waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides.  Icebergs glittering in the sun were constant companions during our passage.

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #2

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #2

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #3

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #3

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #4

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #4

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #5

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #5

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #6

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #6

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #7

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #7

 

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #8

Prins Christian Sund, Greenland #8

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.