In the village, dogs are back to their “summer camp”, and the hunters have switched their sledges for boats. The ice in front of Ittoqqortoormiit is gone. That also means that whale hunting time has started. Narhval is the most hunted whale in the surrounding area, and inhabitants here are found of the ‘matak’: raw narhval skin with the blubber that goes with… that we got to taste the 21th of June – the Greenlandic National Day. Actually, it is much better in taste than it sounds. Sadly, with the melting of the sea-ice, we had to deliver back the two other members of the overwintering crew : Kiniaq and Konto, our two fantastic dogs that have been our companions for six months. We felt more lonely than ever for few days, but it was not possible for them to stay on the sea-ice anymore which is now mostly covered with water.
Last dog team on the ice

Narhval hunting outside the village

Around Argelvor, there is still sea-ice, but it is melting fast, and the sea-ice is really not that thick as it used to be. There are also a lot of holes in the sea-ice (where seals pop-up from time to time), which makes it pretty difficult to move around… We now walk outside with our rubber boots and we are even skiing with rubber boots (!). We can see the open water 200 meters away from the boat, and we can get our fresh water in the nearby river again. It should not be long until we will be able to sail again!
Checking of the sails – ready to sail!

BILDE 4 Melting
Skiing in rubber boots!

Melting sea-ice…

Waiting for the ice to let us go, we mainly use our time to prepare the boat for sailing again and to sort/clean/dry all the equipment and food on board (and that’s a lot of stuff to sort and to pack!).
Packing of winter equipment

A couple of weeks ago we finished our scientific program on the sea-ice. Next job will be a bit further north, on the Atlantic shore, in August. Here we will manage the logistics for an ornithological program and do some transects of plankton sampling in Storisen. We are looking forward to go sailing soon 🙂