Jamie's thought so far

A Greenland Story Blog
Jamie Young
Mon 1 Jul 2019 12:33

                                                                                                             Maybe – (Imahha in Innuit?)


Current Position

69:13:27N 051:50:62W


This is my third visit to Greenland – once in 2013 in the same vessel and more recently with an Irish TV crew for just a week at the start of their winter. And a week is never enough…..

What is it that grabs the imagination of people like myself that requires a return to ice waters when you could be cruising in tropical waters, sundowner in hand and water that is nearly too warm! Hard to describe but the fascination of the harsh environment and the ability of the Inuit (Translates just as ‘People’.) to adapt and survive in both the past and now when they have possibly more complex issues to resolve, is a fascinating story.

This also rings clearly as ourselves in Ireland – and the wider community – also have possibly quite similar issues, particularly in terms of climate change, that we will be held to account for by our Grandchildren, at a minimum.

There are now so many stories about Greenland in the main stream press – melting ice & glaciers/late arrival and thin seasonal ice/possible opening trade routes along the northern borders/threats to polar bears whales and other Arctic wildlife, that surely it must be a strong wake up call to explore the consequences at a minimum.

We have just moved on from a town called Aasiaat, perched on an island at the SW entrance to Disko Bay, famous for the largest glacier in the world carving mammoth icebergs one of which sunk the Titanic… Through previous contacts we are interviewing a variety of people on their version of the past and future and will be shortly going hunting for seal, one of the local basic diets. This is readily available and we have already cooked some for dinner where it received a mixed but generally favourable reaction…! We plan to move onto tasting Narwhal meet, available in the supermarket, as we pass no judgement on what is part of the food chain here.

However, everything is costly here with the supply boat coming directly from Denmark once a week and returning with seafood for the EU consumer from once large shoals of quality cod/halibut/crab and the mainstay, prawns. So hunting or fishing for our own food seems a good option!

Since we are also here to film as much as we can, especially Inuit, but there is a plethora of other characters whom have made their way here by various means. Some via the NW passage, others in tugs that are occasional artist retreats, and others just of a curious nature who have heard of this powerful land.

The next few weeks will be challenging as we try to gather further material and also try to meet Inuit who can speak English, not always easy, in some of the more remote communities. Our queries are focused on how the past may guide the future or becomes a foreign country that, with the recent installation of fibre cable is fast disappearing, or maybe not….

There is a ground swell of opinion to retain or grow the independence of the nation and much thought is going into how this can be achieved. Since Denmark subsidizes on a yearly basis there does not appear to be a short term solution but the resources that are believed to lie under both water and land are a certain option and are being heavily discussed. Sign of this expectation were apparent in Nuuk, the capital, where new wharfs are under construction and the population is growing dramatically as people move, as elsewhere, from rural to urban….