Day 7: White water kayaking

After a restless night, it could have been the thought of the possible bear or the huge explosions as icebergs disintegrated, we were up early and on the water by 09.00.  Looking at the map we assumed that this coast was probably rather low lying and a bit boring, how wrong can you be.  The coastline was low cliffs with significant mountains rising abruptly behind, at one point over 1,200 metres high and less than two miles from the shore.
We settled into a steady rhythm as we had another 25 nautical miles to cover unaware of the potential hazard which lay ahead.  The huge valley which runs down the middle of the Nuussuaq Peninsula is drained by one large river which transforms into a delta as it approaches the shores of the Vaigat. Out of this delta flows one particularly large river, creating a train of standing waves which headed towards some grounded bergs. The water wasn’t particularly big but the consequences of a mishap were pretty serious. With our sensible heads on we decided to drag the kayaks up the river, paddling against the flow was impossible, ferry gliding across further upstream and then slipping down the opposite shore.
I suppose in certain circles this would be known as the “Chicken Run”, we saw it as the “sensible option” considering the consequences and how far away we were from the nearest settlement. Paddling around the outside of the bergs was not really an option because just to enhance the problem a pretty strong head wind had developed.
As things turned out it was a pretty straightforward paddle, although the potential for things going wrong certainly focused the mind. Once over the worst we pushed on for a few miles before selecting a campsite. The late evening sunshine was delightful end to a memorable day. Only 50 miles to go to Saqqaq.
Nicky is dragging her kayak upstream, preparing to ferry glide across. Unfortunately we didn’t have too many photographs of this part of the day as we had other tings on our mind!
Throughout the day there were great views across to Disko Island, although at times the clouds hinted at less than settled weather.
A rather confiding Purple Sandpiper. We didn’t see a great variety of birds but many of those that we did encounter such as Pomarine Skua’s, would be unusual in our home waters.
Evening sunlight accentuating the relief of the mountains which dominate this section of coast.
When conditions are like this there are few places which are more enjoyable for kayaking.