Friday, September 11, 2015

Disko Bay - Day 6

Today was intentionally going to be a short paddling day as we had planned to visit, the largest settlement on the northern shores of Disko Bay, Saqqaq.  With a population of just under 200 the Greenlandic name is a translation from the Danish, "Sunny Side".  This was clearly an inappropriate name on the rather grey and damp day that we explored the village.
The main reason for the village was to top up our food supplies as it was going to be another 12 days before we were able to re-stock.  Getting to the village is always a slight concern because of the number of large bergs, which are attracted to this section of coastline and appear to be breaking up with amazing regularity.  The main worry is getting caught alongside the shore when one of the larger bergs breaks up and sends in significant waves.  No such event today so after just over an hours paddling we landed on some rocks to the east of the village.
The village has given its name to a whole era of Arctic culture, the Saqqaq culture, whose people inhabited this area from around 2,400 BC until 8-400 BC.  The first tools from this people were found during excavations in the area, hence the name.
It was clear whilst we were in the village that the weather was deteriorating and when we started the return paddle it was into a rather persistent and unpleasant drizzle, the start of about 17 hours of precipitation.  As we sat in the tipi though, drinking freshly brewed coffee and eating recently bought cake we didn't feel we could complain too much.  This was the only rain we experienced in 3 weeks in Greenland.                                            
 Kayaks at the campsite about 3 miles east of Saqqaq.  Behind Disko Island is visible, the first time for a couple of days.
Along the shore near Saqqaq there are always a significant number of large bergs, which are in a constant process of break up.  There was quite some concern in the group about the consequences of getting caught out by a wave from a calving berg when close to the shore.
 Saqqaq is quite a pleasant village on the north shore of Disko Bay.  There is a reasonable sized supermarket and a smaller store where we purchased ice creams.  It was summer after all.
 Looking out across Disko Bay
 Getting ready to paddle our fresh supplies back to the camp ground.  The weather was certainly on the turn and it rained for the next 17 hours.  I don't suppose we should complain though as this was the only day it rained whilst we were in Greenland.

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