Sailing East Greenland 2020: Part 2

Just in via satellite; Global Surveyor Danny Drahos. Received Wednesday 29th July 2020:
This next blog is written by Robert Zelenka.

“Through the eyes of the crew.”

The first steps led our group of adventurers to the local shop marked by a flag with two polar bears on a 20ft pole. Expecting some dried fish and maybe a few cans of food, everyone was shocked by the variety that was on offer. From fresh grapes, avocados, all kinds of canned foods, even nori seaweed for sushi, to fishing gears and shotguns! Of course, we are Czech so ask for beer and buy out the whole stock.

Flying the drone from a hill above the village proved difficult as there is a local heliport and the drone’s software cannot be fooled. The cemetery is on top of a hill oversees the bay and the fjord full of icebergs and smaller ice chunks. Surely the best view the deceased can have from their piles of stones with a simple white cross under which they were buried. Some seal carcasses and a polar bear skin drying in the sun behind the local hunters-cottage invoke the idea of getting fresh seal meat.

For 150DKK we got not only half a seal, but the whole show of getting it out of the water, gutted, cut and ending with the hunter proudly eating the raw liver right in the bloodbath where he stood. After a quick hot shower in the local service-house (a grey building perfectly clean next to a red school-house) for 15 DKK each, we headed through the Ikasartivaq fjord connecting Sermiliq with Angmassalik Fjord. Meanwhile, Robert butchered the half seal and prepared delicious raw tartar with garlic, onion and fresh ginger alongside a pot of strong stew and baked spare-ribs. The stew was fine as the ton of chilli he put in slightly overkilled the seal’s strong fishy smell and after taste. Navigating through narrow Ikasartivaq resembles sailing in the Alps. We hoisted both sails and sailed in the setting sun. We found an anchorage in a small bay behind Kûngmit village which protected us from the winds of the Angmassalik Fjord. At midnight Petr and Bob took the dinghy, VHF, life vests, signal flares (just in case) and hot tea then head out to the fjord to catch some fish with ETA 0500. The rest of the crew are having a quiet night.

Regards from Amasilik fjord,
Robert the expeditions butcher and cook


Just in via satellite; Global Surveyor Danny Drahos. Received Thursday 30th July 2020:

I had to look at my watch to remember what day it was: Thursday 30th of July. One look in the next bunk confirmed that Petr came back alive and well from his fishing expedition with Robert in our 3.5m tender. They were out almost all night.

That is not the end of the good news; we now had 15 beautiful, chunky cod’s as fresh as they come!
Our next stop was an abandoned US air base from the second world war which was hidden deep in the fjords between high mountains. In the late afternoon we were anchored outside the derelict old pier.

This place was pretty much left as it looked when abandoned some 80 years ago. Thanks to the remoteness and dry climate all the vehicles and machinery were still there in various stages of decay. Some of them in surprisingly good shape with tyres still holding their air – well done mister Goodrich. It really was a unique sight.

It was yet another stunning place, but with that being said, you could almost feel the pain of the young soldiers stationed here many years ago; literally at the end of the world in the Arctic base with not much else to do then admire the beautiful scenery.

The decision was made to have a barbecue on the beach and soon our cods were grilling on the makeshift barbecue on the 90-year-old engine.

After filling our stomachs with arguably the freshest and most organic fish you can get, we found ourselves admiring the built quality of the near 100-year-old vehicles. I know some of us felt like Alice in Wonderland!
Around 10pm the decision was made to continue to our next anchorage. A picturesque bay with views of Knud Rasmussen glacier.

At around midnight, we were anchored again. The ice watch is set and it is now time to have some well deserved rest.

Sending many regards
Danny and team on Global Surveyor.


Just in via satellite; Global Surveyor Danny Drahos. Received Friday 31st July 2020:

Friday morning 6am. As I was in the middle of my dream, I could hear Bob shouting my name.

It turned out my dear friend was that excited about the two giant Halibuts he had caught, that he felt he had to share the information with me immediately. “Brilliant” no more ice watch for Bob as he always wakes me up.

By 10am everyone was up. First, we had glorious sunshine with stunning view of the icebergs that broke off Knud Rasmussen glacier. Then, the fog set in.

Me and Petr were working on the boat. Bob was preparing Halibuts whilst the others were reading books or catching up on sleep.

Around 2pm the fog had almost burnt away and again we had amazing views. As Petr J said, “even if you just randomly take pictures with closed eyes you could make a calendar.”

We were in a very pretty bay with a little Inuit hunting hut, a large sandy beach and from behind the rocks we could hear a spring or river.

We decide to go for a hike and also take the jerry cans for some fresh water. Once onshore we quickly split in groups. While Adam, Ruth, Jenny, Petr K, Peter and Zuzana were heading towards the snowy mountains, me, Bob and Petr J decided to climb towards a little waterfall and soon we were in the water. We had a view over the little river ending in the sea, surrounded by snowy mountains and the icebergs that were floating in the bay. While we were taking a dip in the pristine water we were in full sun and the air must have been at least 18 degrees.

If heaven exists, it should look like this. I could imagine spending months here just with a fishing rod and a little boat.

Later on, refreshed and sun-bathed, we had full jerry cans of fresh water and headed back towards our dinghy. Whilst we were enjoying our time onshore the tide had gone out and our 100kg tender was now around 60 metres away from the water – oh joy. It was still very warm and I enjoyed the next few hours walking around barefooted on-deck. In the early evening Petr picked up the rest of the group from the shore that had came back from the mountains. Everyone had a proper Arctic sun-tan. Andy looked almost like an Inuit and the others were not far behind.

For dinner we had the stunning halibut cooked by Bob and the plan for tomorrow is to sail right under the head of Knud Rasmussen glacier. Ice watch set and it’s time to rest.

Regards from Eastern Greenland,
Danny and team Go West

Continue onto  Part 3

Posted in Global Surveyor, Greenland, News, Offshore Sailing Adventures, Sailing Stories.

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