Friday, September 05, 2014

Depot Island

The early morning sunshine took its time spilling over the hill onto our west-facing camp. By the time we felt the sun's warmth, the glaciers across the water shining in its brilliance for more than 2 hours.
Smooth waters and light winds welcomed us onto the sea under a brilliant Arctic blue sky. Half way to our lunch stop we past some small islands and skerries. Out across the shimmering sea yet another island chain with towering peaks stretched into the sky. These chains of off-lying islands gave our passage a great deal of protection from the powerful swell in the Denmark Strait.

The further we paddled North, the more gigantic the coastline became. To the west lay deep inlets with calving glaciers stretching way inland. As we rounded the last major headland before our lunch stop on Depot Island, a chilly breeze began to creep in from the North. At first I thought that it may be one of those temporary gentle gusts that would last a few minutes. The breeze gained momentum until it was a steady force 4 scattering white-caps all around us. We altered course to get some shelter behind the headland on Depot Island that would be our lunch stop.

We scratched our way around the most easterly point onto a narrow pebbly beach. Realising that we would be there until the wind dropped, we got out our stoves and made plenty of steaming hot drinks. In the meantime 2 of the group who had plenty of energy continued around the north part of the island to scout ahead and look for water.

The wind continued for the rest of the day occasionally switching direction. Sometimes it would be Easterly and sometimes from the south. Either way, our lunch stop soon became our camp for the night. There was adequate space for tents but the pebbly beach that we had landed on at low water soon became flooded at the water rose. It was difficult to tell exactly how high the water would come and we ended up repeatedly shifting our kayaks higher and higher up the rocks until the time for high water has passed.

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