Sunday, August 31, 2014

Arriving at Sermiligaaq

The flight from Reykjavik to Kulusuk Airport takes around an hour an forty minutes. Just over half way through the flight we began to see the jagged frozen coast of East Greenland. As we got close we could pick out some of the headlands and islands that we would be paddling round in the next 16 days.

When we landed we needed to get to the boat jetty which is around a kilometre walk from the airfield. Each of us were carrying around 30-40 kilograms of equipment and food.

The boat journey to Sermiligaaq took just over 90 minutes. Once we arrived there was no time to hang around. The first job was to get to the shop to buy some extra food. I bought bread, cheese, some tinned fish and as many beers as I though I could cram into an already heavily laden kayak. The second job was to get re-aquainted with the P&H Scorpio that I paddled in the 2012 expedition.

Once we were all loaded up we launched into a misty afternoon and paddled for just after an hour until reaching our first camp. After pitching my tent I went for a short walk around the nearby headland and gazed at the moon rising over the ice laden channel that we would be paddling through next morning. It really felt as though we were about to paddle off the edge of the world.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reykjavik, the gateway to East Greenland

East Greenland is just as easily reached and many of the remote yet popular holiday destinations in Europe. The total flying time is a little over 4 hours. Flights from Reykjavik to Kulusuk only run in the morning so the journey will always involve an overnight stay in Iceland's intriguing capital city.

Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar)
Reykjavik is home to a community of prolific creators. Music, entertainment and art fills the busy public places but walking the narrow back streets it is clear that there is fresh talent growing at every corner.

My favourite sculpture is 'Sun Voyager' which is situated on the sea front close to the city centre. It is a ship of dreams, fantasy and knowledge. To sail the 'Sun Voyager' is to follow the sun and promises a bright future full of adventures and discovery.

All too soon the sightseeing is over and its is time for an early night. The next day will take us on a flight across the Denmark Strait to Kulusuk Airport and the beginning of our sea kayak journey in the tiny hunting community of Sermiligaaq on the icy East coast of Greenland.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Greenland here we come!

During the last few weeks I have been sending daily weather forecasts and information about the sea ice to Martin Rickard. He has been exploring the Fjords and channels of the Angmagssalik region of East Greenland.

Very soon it will be my turn to head off to this dramatic Arctic coastline. Our expedition will take us along a more exposed stretch of coastline to a place called Tugtilik otherwise known as Lake Fjord. This is where the celebrated British explorer, Gino Watkins went missing in August 1932. A memorial cross stands in his honour close to the remains of his expedition hut.

Back home I have been weighing my kit and checking my documents. Thanks to Lyon Equipment I have a new set of Ortlieb dry bags and 2 weeks supply of Trek 'n Eat freeze dried expedition meals. Once again I have plenty of nutritious Clif Bars that will help keep me going on those long days on the sea.

It has been a challenge getting everything packed within the various airline weight limits, but its all coming together now. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank P&H Custom Sea Kayaks, Peak UK, F-stop Gear for their continued support as well as Mitchell Blades for my newly re-furbished 4-piece paddles.