Welcome To My World of Pedals and Paddles

An account of my Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking exploits

Saturday, 24 August 2013

14 Days in Greenland 4

Today we are facing an 8 hour paddle in order to relocate to the NE of Angmagssalik Island. It was hinted that this could be a bit of a chore but we wanted to explore further NE towards the Karale Glacier area so we just need to get this done.

The route took us along a long Loch like waterway nick named by Martin The Lairig Ghru after the Scottish mountain pass.

In any event the scenery along Ikasagtivaq although not changing very quickly made up for the length of the paddle and with frequent brew stops we achieved our objective in good time.

The campsite however was taken by other sea kayakers so we had to camp on the main island close by.

We had managed to scavenge wood along the route so we were able to get our camp fire going without too much trouble.

Overnight the weather changed and the next day we faced strong winds and rain. The wind also blew in the ice to close off our beach. The kayakers on the other beach also faced being blocked in so they chose to depart at the height of the bad weather. This gave some entertainment for us but I did not envy them one bit. Swimming in those conditions off the coast of Greenland  is just not an option.

We battened down the hatches and sat out the day in our tents eating soup and reading. Some of us decided to move pitches due to rising water and tents not facing the wind and this was fun in the strong winds.

By the next morning conditions had improved, the ice had moved away and we were able get off the beach without any bother.

We headed NE across the entrance to Ikasagtivaqa and into Angmagssalik Fjord. The objective for the day was to visit the settlement at Kungmiut where we could get more supplies.

There was lots of ice in the Fjord which is fed by both the Karale and Rasmussen Glaciers. The wind was behind us and we made good progress.

The supply vessel Johanna Christen passed us on its way to Kungmiut and its wash gave us a chance to have a go at surfing.

We landed on the beach at Kungmiut next to quay.

Each of the major settlements have service houses where it is possible to use the laundry and showers whilst charging batteries and having a coffee. Many of the team went for a shower. I had not taken my thermals off for a few days and wanted to keep my spare one clean so I did not bother. The joys of expedition paddling.

During lunch we made the aquaintance of some of the local children who proved to be great company and provided us with some entertainment whilst teaching us Greenlandic and how to eat crisps by the 'Greenland Handful'

Photo courtesy Tiffany Hall
After we had washed and resupplied we resumed our paddle NE along the stretch of water shown as Torssukatgk on the map through the narrows at llivtartik.

Photo courtesy Zoe Newsam
The narrows did not always flow through to Tuno and blasting has been done so that now they only dry out at low water. High water was around 7.30 pm so we had to have a brew stop in order to make our campsite at Tuno.

This was fantastic campsite with views up and down the Fjord. 

It was also Actic Fox country and we were visited early the next morning.

Photo courtesy Jeremy Lay

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