Disko Bay – Day 13

It was strange to be kayaking with no ice visible in the water, it was as if we had entered a completely different world.  Somehow the landscape seemed less harsh, initially.  We had decided to explore the southern arm of this large, sheltered inlet, access to which, was protected by fast moving tidal streams.
Lunch was taken on a beautiful sandy beach, something we hadn’t seen too much off in the last couple of weeks, just before we headed into the narrows of Qingua kujataleq.  What followed later that afternoon were some of the most memorable experiences of our summer in Greenland and guaranteed to send anybody with an interest in glacial landscapes into raptures of delight.
 A rare sight in Disko Bay, a small sandy beach.  This was a perfect place for lunch prior to entering the narrows at Qingua kujataleq.  There were no insects, so it was a completely relaxing break.
 Entering the narrows.  The change in water colour is an indication of melt water streams feeding the inlet.
 Nicky trying to seek some sheltered water to make progress upstream.  At this point there was a significant flow from left to right.
 We should probably have foreseen this, but suddenly we started to run out of water.
 This was a far as we could go, although looking at the map we thought we should have been able to make further progress towards the ice cap.
 A steep climb up a stream bed, just behind where we landed and a walk along a raised valley delivered us to this viewpoint.
 A world of moraine, melt water streams and ice.  It would have been so easy to miss this remarkable glacial landscape if we hadn’t made the effort to go walking.
 On our maps this was marked as the sea, which it clearly isn’t.  We are still trying to decide whether it was a glacial outwash plain or an old lake bed.
 Whatever the origins of the flat landscape there were very few splashes of colour.  We did see some other human foot prints but interestingly this was the only day on the entire trip when we didn’t see any other people.
We are pretty certain this is a varve, an annual layer of sediment.
 After a lovely day kayaking and truly memorable walk we were rewarded with a spectacular camp site.

One thought on “Disko Bay – Day 13

  • March 5, 2016 at 18:38
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    That would have been our tracks. I think the dusty plain has been formed by the build up of sediment now that the fresh water flow has been reduced by the underground and under-ice power station in the next bay north taking water from the glacial lakes which feed this valley. However, climate warming and increased development of the moraines might have done it naturally.

    Peter

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