Monday, 20 June 2011

300 Cloud Free Days Per Year

At approximately 15:45 our Greenland Air charter flight touched down at the Kangerlussuaq airport.  Stepping off the airplane onto the tarmac, one could feel an Arctic bite in the air.  It was definitely cooler here than when we had left home.  The people coming on this adventure in Greenland were a broad international mix from 15 different countries.  One of the great opportunities about a trip on Fram is that you usually have a chance to meet like-minded people from many different cultures.

In the summer time Kangerlussuaq experiences the best weather in all of Greenland with approximately 300 cloud free days a year.  Today was slightly overcast in the morning and through the afternoon.  It was also somewhat windy.
In the airport we were quickly ushered to four waiting motor coaches.  A short 20 minute ride through the rugged, rocky Greenlandic landscape brought us to the end of the fjord where Fram lay at anchor.  We were all issued life jackets at the pier while one of the Expedition Team demonstrated how to put them on.  Even though there are only two straps on the life jackets it seemed like wrestling with an octopus!  
The wind we had experienced in town was also blowing on the fjord.  From the pier you could see that the sea was very choppy. We were all cautioned that the ride to the ship in the Polar Cirkel boats would quite likely be a very wet ride.  And so it was.  
Once on board the ship we were issued ID cards and shown to our cabins.  A delicious buffet was available in the dining room from 18:00 until 20:30.
At 20:30 we attended a mandatory safety drill on deck 5.  Right after the drill we were invited to the Observation Lounge where we met the Captain and many key personnel from various departments on the ship.
Now it is 21:45.  The sun is still shining.  The skies are mostly clear.  The wind has dropped.  It is a perfect evening to cruise down the 180km long fjord.  A great way to start our Greenland Voyage of discovery!