Greenland Expedition: Diskobay
A true explorers voyage all the way into Disko Bay
Nuuk - Illulissat
Sat. 20 - 07 - '19
Tue. 30 - 07 - '19
11 days days
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Greenland is the worlds largest island, but about 80% of it is permanently covered in ice. The inland of Greenland is harsh and provides no shelter or place to permanently live for people, so all settlements, towns and cities off Greenland are near the Coast. Nuuk, starting point of this voyage, is the capital of Greenland. There are daily flights to Nuuk from Reykjavik and Copenhagen. And although in winter time the ice wins land and spreads out into the bay of Nuuk. In the summer time, Nuuk is free of most forms of ice. The city houses a large part of the population of Greenland. Once founded by early settlers and called ‘Good Hope’. It was only after the second world war, when the Greenlandic National identity was reawakened that the city was renamed Nuuk, translated this means Cape.
Setting sail north to Illulissat, there is much exploring to do along the way. Depending on wind and weather conditions, and taking in account any Ice anomalies like Storis – sea ice – making its way around the south cape. The first day might be used to sail to Maniitsoq. The surroundings were formally known as Sukkertoppen. This name came from Dutch, German and British whalers in the 17th and 18th century, who recognized in the hills the forms of ‘sugar loafs’. Now it is known as Kangaamiut.
Another beautiful place with a whaling history is Ukiivik (Sydbay). A sheltered anchorage can be found here among one of the many low islands. Taking the dinghy ashore, it is a great place to go for a hike. The hills are accessible and from the lighthouse some amazing pictures can be taken.
Not looking for a perfect picture or a long hike, remains of the old whaling station can still be found ashore. We go and explore! There are many possible stops, like Attu or Kangaatsiaq, along the way. We will slowly make our way into Disko Bay and discover the scenery.
Illulissat will be the end port of the voyage. The nearby glacier Sermeq Kujalleq riddles the water with Bergy bits, Growlers and other forms of ice. For our navigating into the Fjord we depend on ice density and weather forecasts. Which will make it all the more interesting.
Illulissat itself is a busy fishing port with a little over 4000 inhabitants. Which is less than the estimated 5000 sled dogs that also live in Illulissat. The town has, in a basic form, all you need. A bakery, some shops, a hotel, a youth hostel and an airstrip. From Illulissat one can fly to Kangerlussuaq, to catch a connecting flight to Europe.