Exercise Midnight Sun - Greenland 2008
Wednesday 20th August 08
Out and about
Today we awoke to a cool, dry, and still day with a low layer of cloud hanging over Tassi Bay. After a breakfast of porridge with raisins, provided by Ian and Sarah, all our kit and the tents were packed, then shoe horned into the kayaks. Amazingly nearly all the kit fitted into the stowage compartments of each kayak. Spare kit and food was dropped off at the main camp at Tassi Bay for collection at a later date.
We’re off. Out of the relative safety of Tassi Bay, and into the main fjord heading east away from the Fjord entrance towards the snow capped mountains. Initially the paddle was easy going, playing with blocks of ice floating down the fjord, or trying to spot the little inflatable powerboats (zodiacs) we could hear against the far shore, over 4km away.
The paddle had been against the tidal flow, not too much of a problem, but as we started to get closer to the glacier the wind started. A chilling head wind causing a low chop on the surface of the fjord; made the going tougher and a lot wetter, as the cold water splashed over the bow and front decks of the kayaks.
The sides of the fjord are mostly near vertical rock walls, making places to get out and stretch our legs few and far between. After around 13km we had our first stop for lunch, on a small beach, just big enough for 7 kayaks, between the cliffs. After lunch we continued the battle against the wind and now stronger tide. After a further 7km we reached our camp site for the night.
With fantastic views up and down fjord; surrounded by mountains and glaciers, with fresh water on tap, well, from a glacial stream. In the distance we could see the glacier we’d be heading towards tomorrow, a good 12km away. With the camp now setup dinner was served, canned chicken curry (with virtually no chicken in it) and rice (some of which was fused to the saucepan for eternity) courtesy of Sarah and Steve. Poor Matt no doubt didn’t appreciate that during washing up duty !
Drift wood was collected by all and a small fire built by Bruce and Pete on the beach against a large boulder that objected starkly to the fire being placed next to it and started to fall apart as it got hot. Muscles were collected by Chris and Steve from the shoreline and consumed by the ‘after dinner club’, having being cooked in sea water, herbs and chillies (couldn’t find the white wine and garlic in the ration bag!)