Monday, August 19, 2013

Turner Island: Our first anchorage in Greenland

Our first anchorage in Greenland was behind Turner Island in the channel connecting the Deichmann and Roemer fjords.

It was a drier, rockier landscape than we would encounter further south, for there isn't just the one landscape in Greenland. Plant growth was limited to low crawlers, the occasional wild flower and the lichen and moss clinging on to the endless rocks.

I'd just come off watch and was mentally switching modes between sailing and hiking / kayaking so stayed with the boat while the others headed up to the top of a nearby hill, where they saw a white Arctic hare that seemed surprisingly tolerant of their presence.

By the others I mean the crew and guests of Aurora. I don't like blogging about other people without their permissions so will just say they were all a great bunch and identify them by their initials.

I was given the task of shuttling them from yacht to land in the Zodiac inflatable. I think people were surprised how bad I was at controlling the outboard motor given how much I'd sailed but then most of it had been marina to marina.

I was quite happy to hand over to someone else:
More practice required...

The next day there was a three pronged movement of forces, with a land party (me with K. and W.), a kayaking party (T. with the Mexicans) and Siggi and R. taking Aurora over a very shallow bar (maybe just 1.5m under the keel).

It was a good walk, easy going apart from a tricky river crossing:
The only disconcerting point was spotting what were clearly bear prints, which turned the gun from a health and safety tick box item to a reassuring presence.

Later on we re-joined the boat in its new anchorage:
Here we went ashore again to hunt for, well, I'll get to that later, but we were in any case interrupted.

We had just put the first steps on land when we saw just along the shoreline a POLAR BEAR!

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