Girls Arctic Experience 2 69:14.79N 53:33.09W

mollihawk's shadow
eddie nicholson
Thu 31 Jul 2014 13:04
DAY 4:
Another mozi hike to a trout lake finishing the walk in a tiny settlement.
Carla and Eddie canoed around to meet us in flat calm waters with the sun shining.
Rest of the day was spent whale watching at a distance as we motored back to Rode Bay for the night.
Mr.&Mrs. Nic were up @ 05.30 setting us on a course for Godhaven @ the Southern tip of Disko Island a 10 hour trip away.
Most of the brash ice was negotiated while the majority of the crew slept and when a 10-15knot wind finally set in it allowed us to sail to the coast.
All through the passage we passed icebergs of varying sizes and every conceivable shape and enjoyed watching the magnificence of these colossal wonders of nature.
One iceberg of approx. 50 m high had a cathedral shaped dome roof with 3 arches supported by a central column had large pieces of ice continually falling off into the sea 50m below. Intrigued by this berg we motored up and back watching, filming and listening to the thunderous cracks as each new piece broke off and smacked into the sea below.
Terrifying stuff! Having spent an awe inspiring hour and took some amazing footage and photo’s we started to head away. Our backs were no sooner turned when the entire column and ceiling of the berg collapsed. Alerted by the large crack we turned to witness this implosion, captured by Eddie on camera!
A wave emanated outwards from the berg from the impact of the ice hitting the sea.
We headed happily onwards the remaining 5 miles to Godhaven harbour, where we anchored for the night. A shore party was sent to sus the scene and watched a pack of Huskies being fed while enjoying a walk around the settlement. A restaurant was found which served meals to hikers and had a plate of  fish or fish on the menu and sherry for wine!
DAY 5:
We headed out whale watching once the alert of a humpback had been raised by Eddie who spotted him from the shore.
As we left the harbour entrance another Humpback appeared, gliding majestically through the water. He preformed beautifully for us diving several times , giving us the infamous sight of his tail in the air. An amazing sight to be so close to and to hear and see him spouting as he surfaced for air, his spume turning the full colours of the rainbow as the light caught it.
At this point we had decided to head back from Disko Island to Rode Bay for our 2nd last night. Not a breath of wind, water like a mill pond , just gorgeous. Turned off the engine for lunch and floated around amongst the bergs, a sight which is impossible to describe....When suddenly Carla spotted a Humpback Whale swimming directly for us!
Lunch was abandoned and the cameras were grabbed, some wondered if we should get out of his way. He came so close that we were hanging over the stern as he passed under the boat, when he suddenly surfaced alongside us giving both him and us an enormous fright! He came so close he was too close to photograph! – but what an experience.
During the day the weather brightened to a gloriously calm, sunny evening. We were entertained along the way with further whale activity, seals playing and a few porpoises. With an hour or so left in the journey and the fog descended upon us at 9.30pm and behind the fog was a sea of the most dense brash ice we had experienced to date.
So in a moment conditions became seriously worrying as we were not sure we would make it through the ice. With the poor visibility and the engine speed reduced to almost nothing so as to avoid hitting any of these nasty lumps of ice we weaved our way through with Mike on the helm and Eddie on the bow searching for a safe route through.
We had still 10 miles to go to the coast and the brash ice got heavier as we ploughed through it and almost impenetrable in places. As we realised the seriousness of our predicament  all went quiet on board. An incredibly red sinking sun  provided us with a beautiful sunset with foggy bergs in the foreground, wonderful to look at now but quite erey at the time.  The outdoor ( and indoor in this boat!)temperature dropped to 3 degrees and the sea temperature went dramatically down from plus 4 to minus 4 degrees!
Three hours of weaving and after midnight we emerged the other side of this dramatic ice pack, the Gods were on our side as there was no wind this night and the light was still bright even for the hot chocolates with rum which went down a treat once anchored in Rode Bay at 1AM.
DAY 6:
We motored off for Ilulissat aware that the ice was ahead of us outside in the bay and hoped we could stay inside it all the way up the coast.
It was clear enough when we got out there and this allowed us some time to fish for the hallibut which is in abundance here but in deep waters, try as he may Dermot has yet to catch one, last excuse was that he hadn’t enough line to get to the bottom, some 300m below!
We compromised and motored up to a fishing dory and bought amazing halibut which we saw being caught and we cooked and ate them before the fisherman had finished landing his catch, now you can’t get fresher than that!
A much needed shower before dinner in the ICEFIORD hotel which looks out onto the Glacier and an early bed was the end of an amazing week in the Arctic.