Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

Sep 06, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


Our day started earlier than usual, and we abruptly awoke to the sound of our expedition leader’s voice at 1 a.m. We were finally far enough south to have dark evening skies, and we were treated to a showing of the northern lights! It was brisk on the outer deck, but those who dared to leave their beds were pleasantly surprised by the green streaks splattered across the sky.

After a few more hours of sleep, we began our day in the small Greenlandic village of Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island. It was a bit windier today, but it was definitely not going to stop our adventure. Naturalist-led hikes of varying lengths took place and some highlights included seeing local dogs, spotting large grounded icebergs off the beach, and photographing the colorful array of houses. Visiting a museum showcasing the local history was a great way to help us better understand the culture of the areas we have been visiting.

One of our National Geographic Photographers was on a mission in Greenland looking for a very specific tin can with a decorative polar bear. She asked store clerks about it in each town we visited, but today was her lucky day—we found store that had the tin! And not just one, but an entire case. It was an exciting and victorious find, and many guests purchased these beautiful local tins. Later, we laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.

As we left Qeqertarsuaq, we spotted fin whales. We were able to catch a few good glimpses of these animals and noticed that they had a yellowish tint to their normally white bottom jaw. We suspect they had some diatoms growing on them. We must have been sending good whale vibes out into the world today, because in the late afternoon we spotted fin whale and two sperm whales! The sperm whales surfaced very close to our vessel and even gave us a show of double flukes! It was a rare sighting, and a first for many guests and naturalists alike. As of today, we’ve seen six different whale species on our voyage—a true privilege.

  • Send

About the Author

Shaylyn Potter

Undersea Specialist

Shaylyn was born and raised in small-town Oregon, which she credits for her unwavering love and respect for the natural world. Her passion for the outdoors and exploration began at a young age, and she spent her childhood taking full advantage of what Oregon had to offer—waterskiing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy