Saturday, August 17, 2013

Icy East Greenland - Part 4

After exploring Ikateq, we climbed the hill that overlooks the village. From there we got a better view of the ice that littered Sermilik Fjord. It was obvious that we would be able to paddle north without too much difficulty but looking to the west, the other side of the fjord was a different matter.

Cathedral sized blocks of ice obscured our view of the other shore which was over 6 miles away. We headed north towards a place where the fjord is narrower to find a higher vantage point so that we could get a better view.

It took 2 days to reach a place called Pupik where Sermilik Fjord is narrowest. We camped in a nearby bay, and looked endlessly across the ice laden waters. We could now see clearly into Johan Petersen Fjord, which was completely blocked.

We were disappointed to abandon our plans to reach the Greenland ice cap but we made a new plan to circumnavigate Angmagssalik Island as a consolation. This would mean paddling further north to reach the settlement of Tiniteqilaq.

The next day we found a wall of icebergs blocking our way. Martin and Les paddled ahead to see if they could find safe route. The rest of us waited beside a small island. I climbed to the top for a better view. When Martin and Les returned we came to the same conclusion. There was no way through so after only 2 hours paddling we returned to where we had camped the previous night. We spent the rest of the day walking the hills and ridges behind our camp.

The following day we tried again just after high water when the gaps in the ice are a little bigger. After following a couple of dead leads and having had some anxious moments amongst towering icebergs we found clearer waters which eventually led to Tiniteqilaq.

Following the days excitement, we bought beer in the village shop and the set about finding somewhere scenic to camp for the night. Sleep came easily that night soon after the moon rose above 1000 metre peaks that we would be passing the next day.

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