by Guest Blogger
July 21, 2005
Unable to find a good anchorage further down, we traveled all the way to
the head of the fjord. Pete (chief mate) is driving now. On the bridge
with him are Hettie (second mate), Hughie (pilot), Gordon (glaciologist)
and Dave (chief engineer).
You ever had a car full of people telling
you where to park? It’s a little like that. Hettie is being a good
second mate – mainly keeping track of the distance from shore and water
depth. Hughie has scouted this area more than anyone. Gordon is giving
some advice about the nearby glacier, and guesses about the geology of
the fjord bottom. Dave is simply taking an interest.
We end up parking in a tiny inlet around the corner from the
Kangerlussuaq glacier, which means shorter heli flights and a larger
margin of safety for the glaciologists. Judging from the landscape, our
anchorage used to be under an offshoot of a different glacier –
something the detailed area map seems to confirm. Melting glaciers are
a clear sign of global warming, although we can’t be sure about the one
next to us since it’s never been properly studied like Kangerlussuaq.
Nonetheless, not many ships come here, and Arne (captain) guesses that
we are likely the first ever to anchor at this spot.
I hitched a ride to shore on our jet boat – a handy thing for traversing
ice choked fjords since it doesn’t have a propeller to be wrecked by the
ice – and walked out to a point at the edge of our inlet to shoot this
panorama. The Arctic Sunrise is in the direction of the closer glacier,
but blocked from view by some of the bigger chunks of floating glacier ice.