Greenland: Day 8 – Whales and Reflections

We decided that we needed to push on a bit further today so were up at 05.00 and away paddling by 07.00.  Little did we realize that it would be one of our best days ever in a sea kayak.  The thinning fog eventually gave way to bright sunshine and light winds.  The paddling felt easy and the miles slipped past.
In those conditions sounds travel a remarkable distance, around mid morning we heard the distinctive “whoosh” of a whale taking a breath.  At that time they were nowhere to be seen but after about 20 minutes further paddling they came into view.  The behaviour identifying the two as humpback whales.  We sat and waited as they surfaced around us, sometimes it seemed within a matter of feet.  We felt sure that they were aware of our presence but you can’t always be sure.  A particularly apprehensive time was when circles of bubbles would appear followed fairly close by a huge open mouth as the whale broke the surface vertically.  We sat in their company for about 30 minutes, at times hardly speaking.  Eventually we landed on the nearest beach for a mid morning break feeling that we had taken up enough of their time.
It is difficult to follow anything, which is an intense an experience as those whales ,but it was a memorable days kayaking.  The GPS kept and accurate log of our distance, with the miles seeming to tick over pretty easily.
Eventually we had to call it a day, leaving the water with 35 nautical miles behind us.  It was up with the Tipi and then plenty of food to start to replenish our reserves.  Chocolate biscuits and Haribo as we hit the beach was quickly followed by hot food and a small Pernod each as we toasted the success of the days kayaking.
An early morning departure, into the fog with occasional glimpses of the mountains behind.
Gordon with the clearing fog, the blue sky promises a great day.
 The last few wisps of cloud clinging to the summits.
One of the whales surfaces just in front of Alex’s kayak.  We just sat and waited never sure where they were going to reappear.
This whale appeared almost too close for comfort.  It certainly made us jump!
When the mouth of the humpback whale appears first it is pretty startling.
We sat in awe for about 30 minutes, in the company of these superb animals.  Eventually we paddled ashore for a mid morning break and they headed down the Vaigat.  I think for all of us it was possible the most memorable 30 minutes we have ever spent in a sea kayak.
 As we headed south east towards Disko Bay the conditions could not have been more perfect, the reflections were virtually perfect, both of the ice and the mountains.
Nicky really enjoying the conditions and the miles were just slipping past.
 The landscape was fairly barren in places.
 After covering 35 nautical miles the first thing we put up was the Tipi, our reserves were pretty low and we didn’t want to get too cold whilst changing.
 Looking back the way we had come, a day to remember.
 As the sun started to set some larger bergs drifted into view, providing a great backdrop to the campsite.  A lie in tomorrow morning would not be out of the question after today’s mileage.