Friday, September 23

Karat Fiord
71°24’N   54°2’W
-4°C / 38°F
Partial cloudy
Sunrise at 07:14, sunset at 19:25

Sept.23_3.jpgIt was a very early wake up, 06:30, but we planned to go ashore and explore Karat Fjord early. We sailed past towering icebergs during breakfast as we entered the fjord. Sept.23_6.jpg

We had incredible panoramic views from the top deck of  breathtaking snow dusted, rugged coastal mountains. Our landing was  bound to be spectacular.

The mountains were partially hidden by low lying cloud. The clouds seemed to droop lower as we got nearer our destination at the head of the fjord. Sept.23_11.jpg

Then the cloud settled down over the water in a dense fog and we stopped. We could see nothing, not even the icebergs nearby. We waited, hoping the fog would lift within the hour. It didn’t.

We had a couple of presentations to pass the time while we waited for the fog to lift. Latonia talked about Vikings in the Arctic. And fellow passenger Richard Harris told us about his 2009 expedition Crossing Greenland with Dogs.

The weather improved somewhat, and we ate a BBQ lunch on the aft deck.  But  as we needed to keep on our sailing schedule, we had to abandon Karat Fjord and weighed anchor to go in search of another suitable landing spot.

Just around the corner  we came upon a gorgeous beach with flat marshland behind, rising to gorgeous hills and peaks.Sept.23_42.JPG

It was called Hollænder Bucht (bay), and looked like the perfect landing spot. This was the first time Adventure Canada had landed there.

Sept.23_26.jpg

We went ashore, cruising past icebergs, and pulled up onto a black sandy beach. It was gorgeous. The bear monitors set a wide perimeter and folks enjoyed the opportunity to finally stretch their legs.

We wandered along the beach, picking up unusual black stones with white flecks in them. We also headed up to the plateaus beyond the beach where the remains of a sod house was identified. Farther up the hill was another Thule stone tent ring. The people who once lived in these houses certainly had a fantastic view of the bay and surrounding mountains. Guess real estate has always been about location, location, location.sept-23_32

Before heading back to the ship, we all toasted the icebergs in the bay with a glass of champagne on the beach.

Back at the Ocean Endeavour, about 40 brave passengers and crew did the polar dip  . Our fearless expedition leader Jason was one of the first to take the plunge. The rest of the ship’s company cheered and photographed the event from the upper decks. The water temperature was three degrees. Needless to say, everyone was out almost as fast as they went in and were very glad that the pool had reopened and was heated.

sept-23_43

At recap, it was announced that we would be sailing past Disko Island during the night and so we would commemorate the event with a Disco at Disko. In preparation, we practiced singing Cruising the Ice to the tune of the Bee Gee’s Staying Alive.

After supper, everyone dressed in their disco finest and cut a rug to such classic hits as YMCA and Dancing Queen.  It was a great celebration of the Disco era in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

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About Season Osborne

I am a writer with a passion for Arctic history. After finding a photo of Capt. Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, who claimed the Arctic for Canada in 1909, I was inspired to write my master’s thesis on Bernier’s contribution to Arctic sovereignty. This ultimately led to extensive research into Canadian and ‘foreign’ expeditions to the North, which morphed into my recent book, In the Shadow of the Pole: An Early History of Arctic Expeditions, 1871-1912.
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