Day 1 |
Aug 28, 2009

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

By Dr Toby Musgrave, Botanist

Weather: Sunny with no breeze

Today was a change-over day, which, as with all such days, is one of mixed emotions as we say farewell to one group of guests and welcome another; and given our location it was also a particularly busy day. Sixty nautical miles up the Kangerlussuaq fjord there is no jetty that Prince Albert II can tie up alongside and consequently all disembarkation and embarkation activities have to be conducted by Zodiac.

Disembarkation began at 0700 with shuttling the luggage ashore, followed after breakfast by our departing guests, with embarkation of our new guests commencing at 1300. All went smoothly, helped by the superb weather - a clear sky and no wind, although once the Zodiacs were moving across the water, the chill of the air was apparent. A reminder both of how far north we are and how the short summer season is coming to an end.

With all boarding completed, the Captain hoisted the anchor and we began our voyage at 1600, heading down the fjord toward our first destination, Sisimuit, some 160 nautical miles to the north.

With all guest comfortable ensconced, it was time to undertake the important formality of the Mandatory Safety Briefing at 1700 followed at 1830 by an introduction to some of the important members of the crew: Lionel the Head Chef, Uta the Mâitre d’, Carolina the Head Sommelier, Klaudia the Head Housekeeper, Marius the F&B Manager, Sheryl the Shop Manager, Sylvia the Boutique Manager and Helena the Hairdresser.

Also introduced was the Expedition Team, which comprises Robin, the Expedition Leader, Jarda, the Assistant Expedition Leader, Nicki, the Staff Assistant, the Lecturers - myself, Hans-Peter, Claudia, Rob, Susan, and General Naturalist, Srigley.

Now, packed with information and names, it was time for our newly arrived guests to relax, discover the comforts of their suites and to enjoy the beauty of the steep-sided fjord with its snow-capped peaks which looked at its absolute best in the soft afternoon light. The only note of sadness is the sight of so many receding glaciers – first-hand evidence that climate change is definitely happening.

Dinner was served at 1930, after which most guest retired for a well-deserved early night.  I, however, retired to the Bridge in the hope that the wonderful displays of Northern Lights that we had enjoyed the previous two nights would be repeated for a third. Unfortunately, the sky was, tonight, quite overcast and the lights did not appear. However, we have 16 more nights and if the weather is friendly with clear night skies, we may still get lucky!