As I begin to write this Blog about our Sea Kayaking Trip to Southwest Greenland, already I am struggling to find the words to properly describe what we saw and the sense of peace you get from being totally immersed in that powerful, raw and beautiful landscape without seeing another person outside our small team for weeks.
Tracy, John and Frank … The Three Amigo’s ready for a few weeks “out”
Flying across the Greenland Icecap and seeing the Fjords and Glaciers from the air it was a quick transition from the airport by Zodiac to our remote town start point of Narsaq. This small and friendly community of approx. 1500 people was a wonderful change of pace and we spent the first evening excitedly getting gear packed into dry bags. We were also excited to find out that a new Pub had opened in town called Inuuksuuk. Run by brothers from Iceland and their talented Colorado barman Jerome, they brew their own beer with the label Qajaq, so we looked forward to returning to celebrate there.
Narsaq – Southwest Greenland
We were fortunate to have fantastic weather for most of the trip, only getting tent bound for one day as heavy rain and fog would have made paddling cold and uncomfortable. As we really only had our own schedule and paddling distances to make up as we went we just worked with the elements to give us the best chance to really make the most of enjoying the area.
Unbelievable waterline perspective.
So many shapes and colours – The ice was mesmerising
Frank enjoying photographic paradise
The head of the Gletcher Glacier in Qalerallit Imaa Fjord
The rain in fact was a gift as once the sun returned so many new icebergs had fallen from the Glacier heads and filled the Fjords with waterfalls. In fact it was one of my favourite days paddling seeing all the changes in the landscape and we relished many big days on the water when the sun was shining and the light on the ice was perfect.
John dwarfed by fresh waterfalls
Intense colour returns after the rain
The wildlife was incredible also as we were followed by a pair of Humpbacks for several days, even sharing one of our campsites with these wonderful creatures. As they swam around all night in our bay we could hear their comforting blows as they breathed on the surface. Seals were common company and every day presented some great hiking opportunities to climb the surrounding mountains providing us with amazing views especially at sunrise and sunset. Quite a few times we even stumbled upon groups of Caribou as we quietly explored around our campsites.
Always a sucker for a sunset tent shot
Graceful Humpbacks make great paddling companions
Two red tents and the kayaks on the waters edge – what a view from the top – we are headed for the glacier in the distance
The Caribou were a wonderful surprise on our Hikes
The thing I find with all these extended trips for me is that the longer I am “out” the longer I want to stay “out” and just keep paddling. The simplicity of waking to check the weather and the map and choose your next campsite, the fun conversation whilst paddling, cooking and eating are all things that I will cherish forever from this adventure just as much as the stunning beauty and sense of freedom that the paddling itself allowed us to experience.
Sneaking through the ice flow was challenging at times as the ice moves in quickly and big cracks and explosions can be heard as the big ones break up.
John holding “ancient water” in his hands
Soup breaks were always a welcome treat and this one at the bottom of the Glacier was particular nice to warm up with on a very chilly day
Amazing contrasts as the Kilometres flew by
Another gorgeous camping spot and of course accompanying sunset
One word ….. Solitude
John passing quickly and quietly past one of the “big” ones … shhh don’t wake it up
Frank and myself cruising across the Fjord solving the worlds problems 😉
Frank in front of a “new” ice … freshly fallen off the glacier these bergs have the brightest and clearest blues
Heading home through an ocean slushy
The promised reward …. A “Kayak” Beer to Celebrate
A special thanks to local Guides Cesar and Daniella for looking after us with logistics, for being such great fun people and sharing their wonderful knowledge of this unforgettable area and of course a massive “you’re awesome” to my paddling amigos John and Frank for making this trip something so special … memories to cherish forever ….. I have been truly touched by this landscape and there are so many options here for kayaking that I have a feeling this won’t be my last trip to the North 😉