Day 10 – The long journey to Bear Islands:

We are woken up by the very loud and very unpleasant sound of a wooden ship gracing an iceberg.
I jump out of the bunk and onto the deck to see what is going on. The otherwise excellent Icelandic crew simply forgot that when sailing glacial icebergs you do keep your distance and stay on your toes. Well no leaks and they definitely seem to have learned a lesson from gracing the underwater part of an iceberg the size of a small island.

Now awake I decide to take in the early morning views of “Calm Glacier”, “Love Mountain” and the other beautiful sights as we are slowly making our way towards “Island Fiord”.

We make a short roundabout Hare Fiord to see if we should be in luck and spot a Musk Ox on our way. Unfortunately we do not, but it is hunting season and that makes it unlikely to see wildlife from the boat.
Island Fiord is known for its icebergs and tall vertical mountain sides with dagger like peaks. Our breaths are literally taken away as we enter the fiord vertical mountain faces with sharp pointy peaks rise from the fiord all the way to the peaks some 2000 meters up. Seeing these huge and nearly endless vertical mountain faces with the fiord and icebergs below and the occasional glacier emptying into the fiord is simply beyond imagination. Doing so from a wood ship running on sails is not making the experience less intriguing.
As we think we have seen it all one of the larger chunks of ice decided to do a roll for us, sending a large wave towards us. While slowly recovering from this very scary but stunningly beautiful phenomenon, we have finally l earned why Island Fiord is regarded one of the most beautiful areas in Greenland.

Another Highlight on our Journey through Island Fiord is a mountain called Grundtvig’s Church, a mountain with a peak shaped just like the Danish Church it is named from and the shape of the peak really seems to match the church. We do another Zodiac trip, to get images of the Hildur at full sails with Grundtvig’s Church in the background. While the swells made shooting a little difficult, it was some rewarding images that came out of it.
Close to evening we arrive at Bear Islands and Jytte’s Harbour, another stunningly beautiful natural harbour with quite water and beautifully shaped mountains and rocks surrounding it.
I join a few other crew members to board a lonely motor boat anchored up, to confirm if it is the one missing from Ittoqqortoormiit. Everything down to the engine failure seems to match and a satellite phone call confirms that it is the right boat and we decided to tow it with us for the remained of the trip and hopefully the owner will be glad to see it in good shape again.

As we got back onboard the captain ordered a crewmember to chip some ice off one of the ice flakes after realising that hauling even a tiny ice flake on board would require a crane. Chopped up a little we enjoy a shot of whiskey on Greenlandic Inland Ice.
Soon after the barbeque is on again and another round of very tasty Icelandic Lamb Chops and sausages is on the menu, along with fried rice and salad, add an Icelandic Lager and the menu seems perfect after a long day of sailing and amazing experiences.
As the sun begins to set the crew decides to go for a swim in the fiord the 4 degree cold water seems of little importance and everybody enjoys the swim in very brisk fiord.
A little later we stand on the deck and takes in the view of the full moon rising over Bear Islands, what an amazing moonrise it was. The moonrise mark that it once again is time for bed and we all hit the bunk thoroughly tired after another long and amazing day at sea.


  1. NO way I would jump into that frigid water!

    It's taking me awhile but I am enjoying reading about your adventure.

  2. O, I noticed the photos were taken with the Pentax? I thought you had the Nikon D3?

    Excellent photos.

  3. I am with you Andy, but they found it fun.
    I am glad you are enjoying the read, menas a lot.

    Well I shoot a mix of a lot of things these days.

    The pentax kit, won on weight and I had limitations to that on this trip.

    Glad you liked the images.