Monday, September 07, 2015

Disko Bay - Day 4

After the monochrome landscape of the day before it was somewhat more pleasant to be launching into a more colourful landscape.  The cloud was off the top of the mountains and patches of blue sky promised better things to come.  Today's targets were Brunnich's Guillemots and abandoned settlements.
We headed north skirting some reasonably sized bergs, which every now and again gave off some warning cracks, ensuring that we kept our distance.  Entering into a small cliff backed bay it was clear that we had arrived in a bird watchers paradise.  Thousands of birds were circling above the bergs, including some Brunnich's Guillemots, which were particularly pleasing to see.
We turned west, meeting some French sea kayakers, who were heading back towards Ilulissat.  They had been out paddling for over three weeks and amazingly hadn't seen any whales, whereas we were only on our fourth day but we had already seen these amazing creatures on two separate occasions.
The campsite for the night was in a delightful bay on the south eastern corner of Oqaitsut, a place we had stayed on previous visits to Disko Bay, but somewhere well worth returning to.
 Some small bergs in the channel to the north of Agpat
 Nicky skirting one of the more interestingly shaped bergs.
 Paddling towards bird cliffs.  Kittiwakes were the dominant species, and numbered in tens of thousands but for me the Brunnich's Guillemots were the most exciting species.
 Looking along the bird cliffs.  It is difficult to convey in words just how many birds were wheeling around above our heads.
 Every berg seemed to covered in Kittiwakes
 Lunch was in small bay we had visited on previous visits.  It was clearly a location, which met the needs of people over numerous generations.  There was evidence of an old settlement, whilst some local fishermen had their tent in the corner of the bay.
The fishermen whose tent was in the corner of the bay returned with some of their catch.  Not Nicky but the Greenland Shark, which is in the water behind her.  This was probably a small specimen of what may be one of the longest living vertebrates.  Their flesh is toxic and when eaten by sledge dogs can induce behaviour similar to being drunk.
Crossing towards Oqaitsut but keeping a healthy distance from some particularly large bergs.
John entering the bay on the south east corner of Oqaitsut.  Some pretty interesting geology behind.
Preparation for the evening meal.  Note Toby by the kayaks, he had just been for another swim!  It was great to witness the enthusiasm of youth.

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