Under calm seas and gray, low hanging clouds, we entered this impressive fjord system. We observed low, offshore islands at first before we headed into narrower waters, where we saw steeper mountainsides, often covered in green vegetation along the coastline and along narrow ledges heading upwards. As we sailed farther in, the landscape became even more dramatic. We observed glaciers, jagged peaks shrouded in low clouds, and waterfalls lacing the rock faces.
At the entrance, we also saw many birds, including black-legged kittiwakes, Iceland gulls, and the occasional glaucous gull.
By this stage, we were deep into the fjord and surrounded by a beauty that transcends words. The warm weather and calm conditions meant that guests were chatting away and taking many photographs on different decks and on the bow.
The glaciers varied enormously from dramatic tidewater glaciers to hanging glaciers. Many glaciers were in retreat, looking gray or brown with their smoothed edges and lots of moraine material piled on top.
By late morning, we reached the end of one of the arms of this long fjord. Before us was a lovely tidewater glacier. Its face was blue, a sign of recent calving events.
We hopped into our fleet of trusty Zodiacs and headed off for closer views of the Qingua Kujalleq Glacier. It was indeed dramatic, but even though we hoped and hoped, there were no calving events of note. This did not in any way detract from the experience, which also included sightings of eider ducks, black guillemots, and Iceland gulls. On one side of the fjord, some hundreds of meters further away from the main glacier, we came across two retreating glaciers that in 2010 were joined to the main glacier, a sad reminder that climate change is occurring very quickly up in these high latitudes. Off two glaciers, water poured out from underneath and made its way down the mountainside. Before heading into the fjord via a tunnel under the main glacier, the river had become a raging torrent.
Over lunch and in the early afternoon, we headed for Tasiusaq for our planned activity, a choice of various walks.
When we got ashore, we had a brief moment to take in the loveliness of the spot before being assaulted by hordes of mosquitoes. We hastily put on our mosquito nets before heading forth on our chosen walks.
There was plenty to enjoy and see along the way, including many plants, some in flower, mushrooms, and an incredible variety of lichens. Back at the landing, we all agreed that not only had we enjoyed nature, but nature had also enjoyed us! However, we were never going to allow a mosquito to get in the way of a good walk.
Photographers: Sisse Brimberg and Eduardo Shaw