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Date: 25 Jul 2013 12:37:00
Title: Necessity is in Qaqortoq in Greenland

Our position is 60:42:98N 46:02:23W
By the time you know the name of a place it is time to leave. The Danish name for this place is Julianehaab which is a much easier for us. This is the biggest town in southern Greenland with something like 4000 inhabitants. It is a scenic place with multi coloured houses along steep hillsides. There is a fairly decent harbour where we have seen a small cruise ship, but as yet no other cruising sailboats. Helicopters come and go as there is no airport. Qaqortoq should be a good jumping off point for Iceland, though as yet we do not know if we are going through the 60 nautical mile lone Prince Christian Sound to the east coast or have to go around Cape Farewell. The big issue is ice which frequently covers the sound. The Danish Ice Central didn't really know when we called them two days ago.
We did visit Brattalid a few days ago, and the ruins of a Viking settlement was there of course together with a replica long house and a small church. An archeologist was also there making measurements and told us that other settlements had definitely been much larger, even though Brattalid is the most famous one back home. It is quite interesting having personally made the connection between the settlement in l'Anse au Meadows and here, and it is impossible not to be impressed. We sail with full protection of a warm cabin. They sailed basically in open, though quite big, boats. Navigation was crude, but they still found their way quite routinely.
Coming out from the deep fjord where Brattalid is located was a bit tricky. There was a lot of ice to be navigated. Not enough to make it risky, but it did look that way from a distance. There has been a period with "føn" winds (warm winds coming down from the mountains). That is possibly the reason there has been a lot of calving from the glaciers emptying huge amounts of ice in the fjords. Fortunately the offshore ice appears to be quite limited. We will know more once we get a new ice chart. Today is dedicated to preparing the boat for the 5-6 days long trip to Iceland.
Jan Fr. 25.07.13

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