Greenland – this summer

July, saw a return visit to Greenland for 19 days kayaking with the Jersey Canoe Club.  The Club is fortunate that it has 8 kayaks in Ilulissat, the main town in Disko Bay, on the west coast.  This means that the logistics of paddling in this area are relatively straightforward.  Book a flight, go to the supermarket in Ilulissat and start part paddling.  What a complete contrast to my first visit to Greenland when we had to ship the kayaks out months in advance, plus boxes of food etc.  That felt like an expedition, nowadays we go on holiday.
On our arrival at the hostel in Ilulissat we met Peter and Sue Bisset, who had used the kayaks before us.  Peter runs the “Paddles with an Anas Acuta” blog and it was interesting to hear his description of their 4 weeks out kayaking.  The weather had clearly been far more unsettled than normal, which had resulted in some exciting conditions.  They experienced several days of snow, which is very unusual for July. It was good to catch up though and to hear of their experiences.
Within 24 hours of arriving in Greenland, we had sorted out the equipment, bought food and were heading north.  Unfortunately as we headed away from Ilulissat the wind started to increase, which was to become a feature of our paddle north.  The first day we had to cut short because of an increasing headwind, although we did manage to do some slightly longer paddles in the following days, which put us back on some sort of schedule.

Packing the kayaks always generates some interest amongst the locals.
On the first evening it was a bit of a walk to find water but what a stunning location.
There were some icebergs in the area but they didn’t really present a problem.
The slabs at Anoritoq still showed the remnants of the winter snow. This was the first time I had ever seen snow in this area.
A beautiful arch, 30 seconds later it collapsed, showing the potential danger.
Stopping for lunch in the warm July sunshine. It also provided an opportunity to fill our water bottles.
Sheltered campsite on the third night. Easy landing and just a few pieces of small ice.