So here in Greenland there is more boats than cars. And up until a few years ago there was only 100 kilometer of paved road.
Now, at least in Nuuk, there is plenty of paved road. But the main means of transportation is still boat.
Nuuk is secluded and you cannot go to another city except by trekking. Maybe snow mobil during winter, but I haven’t heard about anyone doing it.
When we were wanted to go on a hike we hired a water taxi to sail us behind Big Malene and drop us off. The picture is of us sailing. I’ve sailed quite a few times with the same company, but this time it was a new boat and it had seats that were placed 2 and 2, as in a rib boat. While we had some problems finding out how to put on the life vest, the people who was going in the same boat quickly helped us so we could start the adventure.
In Greenland all sailing is about speed. This boat was equipped with two high-powered engines which could make sure we were not traveling with less than 30 knots.
It was on the middel of summer, but it still felt like minus 15 degrees Celsius when we were skipping across the water in a rib boat. Now this boat trip was only 20-25 minutes so we could last the short cold period.
Another time, my girlfriend and I took a seven hour trip to the ice fjord and the glacier close to nuuk. This time we had to wear survival suits, which had GPS, a floating device and everything. Now this was three hours one way and three hours back, in the middel of summer. However even so only our faces were left bare it was cold as hell. Within the first 5 minutes of sailing, the boat guide sped along with 35 knots across the ripple of the boat in front of us. This shook the boat in a way that my girlfriend, Michael (my colleague) and I almost fell overboard. This was quite a shock. Coupled with the limited move ability while wearing a survival suit.
The only warm part was when we arrived at the ice fjord and were laying still in the boat. Our guide told us the ice fjord was always sunny, which let me to understand which this was where the glacier was breaking off huge icebergs, which slowly make their way out the fjord, past nuuk.
At around 1 o’clock we had our lunch in the middle of an ice fjord with the glacier a kilometer or so away. We expected to see the some seals, whales or maybe a reindeer as the season had just started for reindeer. But unfortunately we didn’t see any, except for one curious seal who wanted to know what all the noise (the boat going 40 knots) was about.
After finishing our lunch pack the guide said that we should probably start moving back, because we don’t want to get caught in the pack of ice bergs when the tide changes. On our way into the ice fjord we had pushed a few icebergs with the boat to allow ourself access. If caught we would have to spend at least 6 hours in there.
On our way back we slowly sail by the bird cliff where ‘lomvier’ was having the nests and it was almost like watching planet earth 2 with all the birds gathered at one place. It was both disgusting (with all the white poop on the walls) but also magical to see and hear them sing I choir.
It was a long trip back. Almost three hours by boat, and our face/cheeks were freezing. Our guide asked us if we wanted to stop in a nearby small vacation city, where people this weekend were preparing and cleaning their vacation homes.
We kindly said no, as it had been 6 hours on the move and now all we actually wanted to do was to go home and get the warmth.
The the last 10 minutes of the trip took place in a slow pace out side of Nuuk. We were able to catch a couple of great photos and enjoy the trip. Along with everyone else also returning from their vacation or fishing trip we were sailing in convoy into the Marine Harbour past the indoor swimming pool, Malik.
Sailing is magical. But sailing in Greenland is both a necessity and magical.