Gringo's final blog summary

Mike Jaques
Sat 20 Aug 2022 15:51

And so we have come to the end of our big adventure. It’s been a month since arriving in Reykjavik at 2am and heading to join Umiak in the marina, but sitting here in the departure lounge with a 4 hour delay waiting for my Easyjet flight, it only seems like days ago.
The places that we have been, sights we have taken in, and adventures that we have been out on have been truly incredible, and it was a genuinely sad feeling to be lifting up the anchor and and sailing back to Iceland, knowing what lies out there to be explored and experienced further.
Going into this trip, I honestly had no real grasp on where I was heading. Greenland is a savage savage place on earth, and one of the very few places that settlements cannot be sustained. There is nothing that can be done to overcome nature and the seasons here, and it makes you realise that our planet does have ultimate control over us. For everywhere else, we have settled and taken what we want, and things have been taken for granted.
Mike and the guys who have been here before over the years can see just how much these glaciers have receeded, and it is pretty frightening. We have witnessed that some glaciers have changed by up to a massive 5km, and when you see how many glaciers are up here, that is a staggering loss. I like to think that I am aware of what we are in danger of doing in terms of irreversible damage, but to see it right infront of me in such a visual way is very saddening, as I know it will not necessarily be us who suffer directly, but the next generations who will have to deal with the consequences!
I definitely didn’t expect to experience these feelings when I look back on such an amazing experience, but I will definitely be much more mindful of trying to do what I can to help our struggling planet…….
Back to my experiences, and I need to say a massive massive thank you to Mike for giving me the opportunity to join his expedition and for organising such a well planned trip in every aspect. You would not believe the amount of planning, paperwork and prep that has to go into what seems like a very simple trip, from boat prep and provisioning, to paperwork and permits to be going up into the Arctic Circle, which has the very real possibility of becoming ice-bound and needing serious help in such a remote place, and for putting such an experienced team together who are able to take it all in their stride and make it feel so safe and relaxing. We have had an incredible adventure together and I have enjoyed spending the last month with such a great bunch of guys. I cannot remember the last time over the years where I have had such a steep learning curve in something new and exciting. It is far removed from high octane offshore racing that I have become used to, but the mindset and attention to detail I think is very much the same if you want it to succeed.

There are a couple of things that will stick in my mind from this trip:
1; that Greenland is a vast wilderness that is still very much undiscovered, and for a very good reason.
2;The Arctic is a place that can get under your skin and sucks you in. You either love it or you hate it depending on your underlying character. And I love it!

Heading back to normal life, I wish Mike and the crew off Umiak fair winds to take them back home to Ardfern, and also wishing Olly, Tim, and Christoph all the very best.I hope this is not our last adventure together
I am already looking forward to the next instalment!………….

Gringo xxx=