Monday, 13 June 2011

The Land of Perpetual Daylight.

As our aircraft approached the west coast of Greenland we began our descent.  We passed through the final layers of soft, white clouds when suddenly we were looking at  another layer of white far below.  It was the Greenland Icecap, the second largest field of ice in the world covering 1,710,000 square kilometres (660,235 sq. mi).  It's an amazing amount of fresh water locked in ice: 2,850,000 cubic kilometres of ice (683.751 cu mi.)  Such an enormous volume of ice is difficult to comprehend.  As far as you could see, ice sparkled in the sun.   It was beautiful!  Approaching Kangerlussuaq the ice gradually gave way to rock and moraine.  On our final descent we could see the MV Fram at anchor at the head of the fjord and then with a bump and a roar of the engines we touched down.  Greenland at last!

A short walk across the tarmac brought us to the airport terminal where several members of the Expedition Team escorted us out to four waiting motor coaches.  It was another beautiful day in Kangerlussuaq.  In fact Kangerlussuaq consistently has the best weather in all of Greenland.

In about twenty minutes we arrived at the end of the road at the head of Kangerlussuaq fjord and the real beginning of our adventure in Greenland.  In short order we were issued life jackets and then made the short ride in the Polar Cirkle boats to the MV Fram.  Once onboard we were issued ID cards and escorted to our cabins.  Our home away from home.
Around 16:00 we lifted anchor.  Before us lay 190 kilometres of beautiful scenery to cruise through before reaching the head of the fjord and plenty of daylight to see it all.  We are now in the land of perpetual daylight.

At 20:30 we had a mandatory safety drill which was followed by the Captain's Welcome and an introduction to many of the key personnel on the ship.
To visit Greenland is a dream for many people and now, for many people, that dream has just become a reality.