Day 10 - August 4, 2013 - Scoresbysund, Greenland
By Kara Weller, Biologist
Co-ordinates: 70º28.8’ N, 021º58.6’ E
Air Temperature: 10ºC
Pressure: 1012 hPa
Wind: 15 knots
Last night when Robin announced that there would be no early morning activities today but that we would have a morning at sea, everyone cheered loudly. After a few packed days it was nice to sleep in and catch up on rest. However the morning was once again clear and full of sunshine, a stiff breeze blew and the mountains of Scoresbysund were still impressive, though a bit subdued in comparison to yesterday.
A morning at sea allowed a bit of time for lectures and a recap which we hadn’t had in a while. During lunch we approached the small town with the long name of Ittoqqortoormiit (which means big house dwellers) nestled near the northern entrance of Scoresbysund. This town of less than 500 people sat perched on a hill slope, its colourful houses facing east with magnificent views out onto the icebergs in the distance.
Just after lunch we went to shore in the Zodiacs and were able to get out and walk around the town, exploring it at our leisure. The small tourist office run by Nanu Travel had some nice souvenirs for sale, as well as some muskoxen pelts to look at and touch, and meat to sample. On the opposite side of the road stood the small yet elegant church, with a family in traditional Greenlandic costume posing on the front steps. Dog teams howled from across the small valley.
The town was founded only in 1925, and survives today largely on tourism. As there had not been many tourists this year at all due to a change in commercial flights, our ship stopping to visit was a welcome event for the whole town, and smiles met us everywhere we went.
Some people chose to wander the streets at random, others went in search of the small museum and art gallery, or browsed the aisles of the local supermarket. Others took the longest roads out towards the edges of the town to admire the view from the helicopter pad or the cemetery perched on the highest road. ATVs roared down the dusty roads and everyone came back to the zodiacs eventually with very dusty boots.
Once back onboard the Silver Explorer we heaved up the anchor and prepared to depart Greenland, heading east and south towards Iceland. In the evening in place of a recap, our fellow guest Ricardo entertained us all with a magical performance that was quite impressive and fun.
The sun continued to shine as we sailed slowly out of Scoresbysund and away from this magnificent part of the planet.
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