Saturday, 2 July 2011

Flexibility is Paramount While Expedition Cruising

 Once again we were stymied by the Ilulissat ice.  The reason one goes to Ilulissat is to see ice.  The main reason Ilulissat is a Unesco World Heritage Site is because of the glacier Sermec Kujaleq.  It calves more ice than any other glacier in North America.  I wish it would slow down just a little.  There has been just too much ice the last three weeks for us to get there.  But, even though we didn't get to Ilulissat, we still had a terrific day!
We came to see ice.  Well, we certainly saw a lot of ice today.  If we couldn't see the ice in Ilulissat we could certainly see the ice from Ilulissat!  At 07:30 we dropped the Polar Cirkel boats and started ice cruises shortly after. It was uninterrupted clear blue skies once again and little to no wind.  Absolutely perfect conditions.  
The best way to experience an ice berg is at sea level.  That is when you get the true feeling of the immensity of some of the ice.  It is also when you can really examine the detail and all of the wonderful shades of blue in glacial ice.  It is superb for photography.  We each had approximately a thirty minute tour of the icebergs which was just about right as it began to get a little chilly on the water speeding around in the Polar Cirkel boats.  It was really a nice experience.

In the afternoon we visited the town of Qasigiannguit.  It was the first time that Fram had visited this community of 1200 people.  They really out did themselves in preparing for our visit.   They arranged various guided hikes for us.  They opened the museum which was also a good place to purchase crafts.  A dog feeding was arranged.
The choir sang for us in the church which was followed by Rasmus Lyberth performing outside for everyone.

There was plenty for us to do.   Of course everything was optional.  A few people chose to hike on their own and the terrace at the Discobay Hotel did a thriving business.  We were kept busy from 14:30 until 20:00. 
In the evening there was a charity auction in the Observation Lounge to raise money for the children of Greenland which was followed by Rasmus's final performance.
We may have had to cancel Ilulissat but we still had a fantastic day.