logo Umiak
Date: 12 Aug 2018 15:43:33
Title: Following the history

72:49.3N 27:11.4W

Its been a bit of a change of pace aboard since our departure from Liverpool Land, where the landscape lent itself to mountaineering, where there were steeper peaks nearby and snow down to the beaches in some places.  Now we are further north and, closer to the ice cap and have found, surprisingly, much less snow and similarly impressive though less jagged mountains surrounding us.

Our meeting with the friendly and informative Sirius Patrol has directed and inspired us further into the fjords here, firstly to visit the historical site of the aforementioned ‘Sledge Patrol’s’ northern base of operations and, secondly, deeper into the fjords to visit a restored hunters hut.

The site at Ella Island, now used by the Sirius Patrol is well kitted out with modern equipment including JCB and a slipway although some of the original charm remains in the original house, still standing under the impressive ramparts of the ‘Bastionen’ mountain.  Approaching the island, I think we were all recalling the impressive and gruelling winter journeys of some members featured in the Sledge Patrol, when they travelled hundreds of miles, alone across the frozen sea, with the most minimal of equipment.  To imagine these journeys serves to remind us the vastness of the terrain that continues to surprise us.


Our second excursion to a restored hunters cabin, at the imaginatively named Kap Hedlund, has also also interesting and featured some seldom observed, in our journey at least, wildlife in the form of four Musk Ox.  We landed on the beach to look around and were surprisingly close to these big animals who obligingly posed for a short while before spooking and scampering off into the hills.  The hut itself was spartan but one can imagine what a haven of respite these refuges, dotted at regular intervals along the shore, must be in the winter.  In the hut, the ‘visitors book’ had entries dating back to 1969, including a British Military Expedition to the area.

We have just pushed on to the end of this, Dickson Fjord, in the company of the Danish Navy’s HMDS Lauge Koch (named after a Danish explorer who charted much of this area), whom we have been close to since leaving Mesters Vig a few days ago.  Here the steep sides of the fjord are capped by glaciers 1500m above us although the sense of perspective is confusing and it all feels much smaller.

We are just turning around to head back eastwards with the near focus on a return to Liverpool Land, hopefully to bag a couple more summits before our attentions turn to the journey homeward.

Spinnaker sailing up Kong Oscar Fjord
Mike and Ash with the Sirius Patrol and their friendly Husky
Sirius Base at Ella Island with Imposing Bastionen mountain overlooking
Olly and Ian check out the reading material in the hunters cabin
Musk Ox posing on the beach
Cracking weather at Kap Hedlund, anchored near the hut





Diary Entries