Day 9 – Denmark Island, scientists and icebergs:
The fiord outside is scattered with Icebergs and across the fiord on the mainland small glaciers run into the fiord.
Breakfast is some kind Icelandic stew, but very tasty and really helps us get back on our feet after a long day and night,
Shortly after breakfast we are in the zodiac heading for one of the stone beaches and two hours worth of hiking.
At the beach we load up our shotguns and set of in smaller groups.
Our aim for the hike is partly to explore and enjoy the landscape and partly to find a water source.
Louise Ruth and I make our own way up the mountains to a plateau, where we slowly get regrouped into larger groups.
The landscape is a true arctic desert, with barely any vegetation and nothing but solid weathered rock and the occasional nearly dried out puddle of water. The natural rivers here are all dried out, which makes finding water difficult. Extremely stunning it is though and the photographer in me is a very happy guy.
As we get back to the boat, some of the others have found a water source that we can boil into drinking water, so nothing but tea and coffee until we find a better water source.
Just after noon we start to pull the anchor (by hand!), what a tough job, but we soon steam out of the small harbour and hit for an international group of scientists where we are to deliver some plywood plates, that we agreed to carry along from Ittoqqortoormiit and to their tent camp at Anchor Bay.
On the way there Martin a Videographer, Heimir the Captain and I, grabs a ride in the zodiac to get some images of the Hildur alongside some icebergs and some other stuff, unfortunately not enough wind for the sails to be up, but we have plenty of time for that.
As we get back on board they have started working on adjusting the masts, as a newly rebuild ship, it still needs a little fine tuning. It also offers the opportunity to go topside for a nice view of the ship and surroundings from above. The trip up there is fun and hanging from the top of the mast is really good fun too, not to mention an amazing view. Getting used to trust the knobs used by sailors, which are different from the climbing knots I am used to is a little spooky, but they seem to work, so nothing to worry about.
The arrival at Anchor Bay makes for a lot of hectic activity at the tent camp, we are apparently making enough noise to be a potential disturbance to the Nar Whales that they want to capture and put tracers on.
So the offloading of the plywood and the visit to the camp to learn more about the work they are trying to is done very carefully. The scientists are a mixed group of people from several Denmark, Greenland and Norway, with a common passion for gaining a better understanding of Narwhales and their migratory habits.
As the Hildur is stuck until the narwhale time window has passed we decided to bring out the barbeque and enjoy a royal dinner of Icelandic lamp chops, rice, salad and Icelandic lager.
Just after midnight we hit the bunks, tired after a long and very interesting day and some sights that are simply beyond imagination.