It is a very foggy morning, luckily it seems to dissolve a bit during breakfast, after which Captain Heimir dives to free the stuck anchor of the small motorboat. As soon as it has been freed, weighted down and tied to the Hildur we set out on the long trip from the Bear Islands to South Cape, a small hunting cabin on the very border of the National park. A long sail among some of the biggest icebergs Ittoqqortoormiit fiord has to offer.
Bad news is that as soon as we clear Jytte’s Harbour we sail in a wonderful mix of mountains icebergs and small fog banks. An iceberg with a giant arch sails by and really makes for a visual treat unlike anything I have ever seen before. Nothing short of a visual masterpiece, as only Mother Nature is able to create them.
I came away with at least a couple of compositions that will be ready for gallery print of the rapidly changing scene.
A couple of seals was spotted on an ice flake, they seemed quite lazy and content, however as we closed in they decided to leave the scene well before we got anywhere near them, seals are quite shy animals in the wild. Especially as they are hunted animals up here and while a little too strong in taste for my liking they are popular among locals and often used in soups. Seal meat are also commonly used to feed sled dogs during winter, while the fur is used for clothing as well as the female traditional ceremonial dresses.
Soon after the seals the fog closed in and visibility turned from excellent to 10 meters in an instant, thus our cruising speed was cut down to a crawl. One would not want to hit an island sized iceberg without knowing it and they are easily able to hide in the fog. Ice lookouts were posted on either side of the ship and we spend the next 6 hours crawling our way towards South Cape.
The arrival at south cape was spooky in its own way the coastline and an old and haunted looking hut slowly emerged from the fog. Immediately behind the hut, a steep mountain wall rose. It looked like the hut was sitting on a small ledge at sea level and if I were to believe in ghosts, thus hut would surely be one of the places they could easily be living.
A while further down the cost a much never hut has been build, right next to another haunted looking hut, with a wall missing and everything.
It was extremely interesting to enter the hut and read the remarks and stories written, by past visitors.
Hunters and adventurers alike has been using the hut for layovers both summer and winter and the interior shows that while it looks well maintained on the outside it can easily have been around for 50 years or more.
At 2200 hrs the Hildur sets sail for the very long journey towards Ittoqqortoormiit. At midnight I start my 4 hour ice watch in the stern of the boat. I have the pleasure of guarding the darkest and thus fairly dangerous hours until 0400 hrs. It is chilly 4 hours with increasingly rough weather and icebergs that slowly get more and more difficult to spot as the evening turns to foggy night. Not hiccups and the one skyscraper sized iceberg that popped out of nowhere we managed to steer clear of.
At 0400 hrs I am ready for bed and literally hit the bunk sleeping. What a spooky and amazing day and night it has been.