Disko Bay comes up Trumps

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Fri 24 Jul 2015 21:41

Well, Disko Bay has come up trumps again. We left Sisimiut two days ago to do an overnight passage to get up here. We’d had fairly unpleasant weather in Sisimiut, very low cloud and drizzle all day and were a bit worried that we’d meet fog at sea, but in fact the weather was clear and we had an uneventful passage, motoring of course. Overnight we started coming across icebergs for the first time in a few weeks, some of them enormous and presumably calved off the Ilulissat Glacier.

We came into the approach channel to Aasiaat mid morning in bright sunshine and were greeted by the sight of several large hump back whales thrashing about in the water ahead of us.  By the time we reached them they had calmed down and passed very close by, surfacing and diving as they went.

It wasn’t long before we came across two more whales that performed beautifully, shooting great spumes of exhaled breath into the air, rolling their backs revealing their dorsal fins and finally showing us their distinctive black and white fluked tails. They porpoised past us towards the tail of the island, where two kayakers had appeared. We watched to see what would happen when the whales and the kayakers met. The whales disappeared beneath the surface for a while, and then, when well clear of the kayakers, started their porpoising progress again. It was all so considerate and graceful.

People in Aasiaat have been very friendly and engaging. Even with only a few words of English, they have come to the boat to say welcome and to ask where we are from. The further North we have come, the friendlier people have seemed to be.

Arctic Monkey arrived this morning and moored alongside so we were able to catch up with their news and adventures. They’ve been visiting old Inuit sites where there are the remains of sod houses and collecting bones and stones (sorry – rocks) which the girls proudly showed us.

We are planning to spend the next week before our new crew arrive cruising around Disko Bay. We are now sitting in a lovely enclosed anchorage half way between Aasiaat and Disko Island. We have passed a steady procession of enormous icebergs floating down the bay, but we are well protected here in Kronprinsens Ejland, tucked away in a bay where there is an abandoned settlement. Planning to go to Disko Island tomorrow and may stay a few days.