Friday, August 25, 2017

Greenland trip day 7: a waiting day

The night is difficult: rainy and quite windy. Luckily for both of us, the rain has largely stopped by the time it's our turn to do bear watch. But the night itself is one of little sleep and doubts. Since it's clear that there won't be any real activity today, everyone sleeps in and we do a late breakfast followed by a post-breakfast nap. We do get some excitement as a boat pulls up a bit down-shore from us and disgorges a group of about ten. It's clear from the lack of gear that these are just day tourists and from talking to them we learn that they are up from Tasiilaq to see the glacier. That explains the well-worn path through camp!
cloudy and rainy
By lunchtime - quesadillas with salami - it's only raining a bit, so we opt for an afternoon walk up towards the glacier. The trail leads us along the shore and then up onto the moraine, from which we have a great viewpoint to look along the glacier. During the short window when the conditions allow, we can see a long way down the glacier to a group of mountains where the glacier makes a turn to the left. It's an impressive beast: about 2 km wide where we are and even wider further up. The end is chaotic as hell. Overwhelming! We are lucky enough to see a couple of big pieces fall off the glacier while we're standing above. The first of these happens during a wind-still and the surface of the ocean is very flat, so we get to watch the ripples spread and reflect off the other chunks of ice in the water. Really cool physics demo.
piece of ice falling off and into the water
Back at camp we have another rest and then do dinner (Shepherd's pie, really not recommended!) before doing a bit of talking about the next couple of days (theoretically the weather will improve after one more day where it's dodgy) and then heading off to bed.
camp at the shore of the fjord
We had a hard night/morning. Between Andrea's back (bother her again a bit because of the camp move the previous day) and the general crap weather it's not easy to keep spirits up and stop wondering why the hell we are doing this, but the afternoon walk really helped. The forecast is for good weather starting on Sunday, so maybe we will get to do some mountaineering again soon; but tomorrow is likely to be another bad-weather holding day.

No comments: