Our target for the day was to visit the small town of Qaarsut, to stock up on some basic food supplies as well as hopefully finding some cakes, particularly to satisfy the cravings of myself and Andy. It is surprising when you are away on a trip how your thoughts turn to particular food items etc.
The wind had subsided overnight although there was still a favourable push towards the small village of Qaarsut. With a population of just under 200 people its rather dubious claim to fame is that it was the site of the first coal mine in Greenland, which closed in 1924. Today most people who visit the town rarely leave the airport as it is transit hub for other towns further north, particularly Uummannaq. Helicopters shuttle backwards and forwards across the 14 nm channel.
Sadly the shop was out of cakes but large packets of crisps proved to be a welcome second choice, washed down by significant quantities of various types of fizzy drinks.
As we continued our journey along the peninsula the wind increased significantly, probably reaching 35 knots. In those conditions there is no option but to get off the water. Fortunately we were able to identify a small valley, in which we could take shelter, whilst hoping for a break in the weather to enable us to carry on. The break didn’t materialize so after just under 11 nautical miles we were forced to call a halt for the day but it did allow us time to go exploring the surrounding landscape, something which hadn’t really had time for so far on this trip.
The beach at Qaarsut, the sky is starting to look rather ominous.
Some rather satisfied kayakers making short work of some very large bags of crisps.
Some of the inevitable kayaks which are found in villages throughout the region.
Sewage disposal Greenland style. Many of the smaller villages do not have flushing toilets but they do have the inevitable yellow bags.
Rapidly rising wind speeds drove us from the water, which hope would just be for a short time but turned into about 20 hours.
The kayaks ended up being sand blasted by the strong easterly wind. We were still trying to get rid of the sand two weeks later.
We had to move the kayaks up the beach into the shelter of the small spur behind which we had pitched our tents in an attempt to get some shelter from the wind which was gusting up to about 35 knots.
To pass some time we went exploring the surrounding hillside, including scrambling up this particularly large boulder.
A view from the hillside above where we had to camp. The stone circle in the foreground is evidence that we weren’t the first people traveling through this area. This location was too exposed for us to use this particular day but during periods of calmer weather this would be a beautiful place to spend some time.