We may have experienced “uncharted” moments with incredible intensity, but we also saw magical images that we never imagined existing. Another, entirely different world, at the top of the planet. Mother Nature can have a very hard face in these latitudes.
We experienced nightmare moments which were overwhelmingly much more than the good ones. We were in danger many times. Alone in... another World.
We faced the worst seas in a completely inhospitable environment and even worse having them upwind. We were repeatedly tested by endless hours of navigation until our limits were exhausted.
And then, the icebergs and the infinite small pieces of ice that combined with the very dense fog created unspeakable cinematic scenes. We had gotten trapped several times, in the middle of nowhere, in vast frozen areas.
However, sometimes you live something so magnificent it makes you forget the price of your effort to fulfill your goal...
DAY 45th - Tuesday, August 16
Position: 72°47΄N 56°09΄W – Upernavik
After 29 hours of navigation from Pond Inlet, at 11:45΄ in the morning, we finally managed to approach the port of Upernavik – our first landfall on Greenland. We headed first to the gas station for refueling and then to the market for the necessary food and water. We were out of energy and completely exhausted from our arduous passage. All we wanted was to fall asleep.
Dash for Disco Bay
But the weather forecast showed deterioration for the next day and so we had to overcome our fatigue and continue to Ilulissat on Disco Bay. We gritted our teeth once more and at 18:30 we left Upernavik at our stern and started to cover another 250 nautical miles. We intended to steal some sleep during our course, as the good weather conditions allowed it.
At 23:30 we were halfway and entering the Disco Island channel. But this time the light began to diminish as the days began to shorten and so we traveled with great caution in semi-darkness. Inside the channel, the sea was calm, so we found the opportunity to take turns sleeping every hour.
DAY 46th - Wednesday, August 17
Position: 69°13΄N 51°05΄W – Ilulissat
At 06:30΄ in the morning we slowly entered the relatively busy port of Ilulissat. We had recorded another 12 hours of riding and could barely stand. We rented a cabin and immediately fell asleep. We got up at 13:00΄ we went to refuel at the gas station located on the floating platform of the port.
The rest of the day, in the thick fog and constant drizzle, we walked the streets of Ilulissat wandering around places we hadn't had time to visit last time. Early in the evening we returned to our little cabin to fill in the hours of sleep we missed so much.
DAY 47 - Thursday, August 18
Position: 65°49΄N 53°20΄W – Kangaamiut
At 09:00΄ in the morning, we set off to cover another 250 miles to Kangaamiut. The sea continued to be calm and thus we were able to travel comfortably. At 15:00΄ after the noon we entered the port of Sisimiut to refuel.
Unlike our first visit, we were greeted by a clear blue sky and thus had the opportunity to take some beautiful photos. But we didn't stay long because the north winds would strengthen in the afternoon and so we didn't have time at our disposal.
At 16:00΄ we left Sisimiut behind and set sail for Kangaamiut, 75 nautical miles further south.
In the middle of our route, north winds caught up with us, which made it quite difficult even though we had the waves at our stern. The sea conditions required constant adjustment of the course and the speed, but we were still making good time toward home.
At 19:30΄ we approached the dozens of islets that surround the small village of Kangaamiut. We did not choose to approach from the south, where the port is more easily accessible, but from the north because we wanted to wander between the very narrow channels of the numerous islets that surround the village, sheltering it from the west and north-west winds.
The waters were completely calm inside the narrow channels giving us unique images. Descending slowly into the northern channel, on our left the first houses appeared built on the slope of the rugged rocks. The entire village is built along the rocky slope and descends steeply to the sea.
A Fairy-Tale Village in the Arctic
Three long narrow islets, with a total length of one kilometer, protect and hide the village, forming a very narrow and long channel that is also the port of Kangaamiut. Along the channel, from end to end, low and colorful houses are built with breathtaking views of the sea.
Everywhere you look you see a wonderful picture that exudes an aura that we were not used to on these shores of Greenland. It was obvious that this small settlement of 250 inhabitants has something different from the others. It was by far the most beautiful village we had visited so far.
We docked at one of the two floating platforms where the local boats are located, a few meters before the gas station, and went out to walk the main street that runs along the shore and crosses the entire settlement. Everything was perfectly arranged and spotlessly clean, which made a huge impression on us.
We walked to the northern end of the village and then took the uphill path that took us to the top of the hill. From here the view of the village and the numerous islets that surround it is amazing.
We stayed for a long time to admire this unique landscape The absolute peace between the impressive rocks and the narrow channels was so majestic that it took us to another, completely different world.
Perhaps it was the best gift we could receive a blessing for us at the end of our mission. We decided to spend the night here, extending as much as possible our stay in this magical place.
DAY 48th - Friday, August 19
Position: 64°10΄N 51°43΄W – Nuuk
At 09:00΄ in the morning we left behind this wonderful place and set sail for Nuuk, 125 nautical miles further south. The sea was calm and so in five hours we were approaching the capital of Greenland. This was also the end of our mission.
But we didn't want to get the boat out of the water quickly—she had endured incredible hardship with us and brought us through safely. The day was beautiful and we preferred to extend our stay on deck for a while. We stood for an hour outside the old city of the capitol which is on the north-west shore.
We unloaded our equipment, brewed the last cup of coffee and gazed at the traditional houses of the wonderful old town, recalling the unique adventures that this trip to the top of the planet gave us a sense of accomplishment of something – Arctic by RIB – than no one had ever done before.
Life is yours,
Don't let anyone stifle he,
Build your own world,
Dive deep into it and chase your dream,
At all costs.