Sep 05, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
All morning we steamed south with the mountains of West Greenland to our port side along with a steady stream of icebergs glinting in the light.
We had two presentations for our morning at sea. Jennifer Kingsley, our National Geographic Explorer, shared stories from her time in the Russian Far East. Then Michael Jackson, naturalist and teacher, gave a clear and compelling explanation of the science of climate change.
We then approached the community of Uummannaq, which sits on a small island almost entirely occupied by a beautiful mountain peak. The site of Qilakitsoq sits just across the way. It is in a small bay but covered by so much bright green vegetation that it stands out against the shoreline.
This is the site where, in the 1970s, six women and two children were discovered in burial sites dating back 500 years. Because of the cold, dry wind that blew across their graves, the bodies were remarkably well preserved. They have since been termed the Greenland Mummies, and they are kept at the museum in Nuuk.
The grave sites were accessible to us after a short, uphill hike, but the entire area is full of other burial spots and the remains of Thule houses which are now covered in thick vegetation. Our archaeologist, Lynda Gullason, spoke with many of us about the significance and structure of these houses.
In addition to the interesting history here, this was a gorgeous site to explore. Layers of rock, lichen, moss, lush plants (comparatively!), and a couple of reflecting pools made this a peaceful and meditative place from which to reflect on our voyage. We only have a few days left together, and we will make the most of them.
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