We sailed in an open boat past icebergs, hiked up to see the beginning of the inland ice, stuffed ourselves with blueberries and ended with a delicious kaffemik at a local’s home at Kapisillit.
Getting ready for Kapisillit and the Nuuk fjord!
Jon our guide started the day off by warning our group of six that we were going to be cold. It was hard to believe since I was already wearing two layers of thermals and an anorak, plus rain pants over my normal pants. That wasn’t enough, though, so he gave us some bright orange survival suits to put on top. I felt like a big ball of too much orange, and couldn’t really move – but I definitely felt warmer and safer in them!
Our end game was to see the ice fjord near Kapisillit, a relatively large settlement two-hours sail away from Nuuk. Once close, we would hike up a long hill to a sight-seeing point. This was to be our first time viewing the inland ice!
We sailed in a Poca 550, which is the most common type of boat in Greenland. It’s a simple but sturdy open-boat, meaning that you are exposed to the elements, but also closer to the stunning nature.
Two hours after we reached an area near Kapisillit where we would begin our hike. We started stripping off our many layers. Apparently Nuuk is the cloudiest area in the fjord system, but if you get away from there the sun is nearly always shining.
Arctic summer: viewing the inland ice
You could smell the arctic summer everywhere. Heady scents from herbs and flowers dominated our senses.
Everywhere you looked berries were growing on the hearth – mainly crowberries, but also an abundance of juicy plump blueberries…. they were delicious!
Summer in the arctic means a plethora of mosquitoes. Luckily Jon came ready with mosquito nets, which all the men thought they needed.
And then we climbed up about 50 minutes to see the view. And what a view! If you look into the depths of the picture below, you will see the beginning of the ice cap.
As I was looking into the distance, I noticed a dark little dot slipped off an iceberg. It was my first seal spotting.
Visit to Kapisillit
The next stop was the settlement Kapisillit, where our local hosts Kristine and Karl invited us over to have a kaffemik. We filled our bellies with blueberries and popular Greenlandic style cakes.
Kapisillit is a hunting and fishing community in the Nuuk Fjord, about 75 kilometres away from the capital. Kristine has lived in Kapisillit her whole life, but in October she is moving to Nuuk to study. Karl is the teacher at the local primary school. He currently teaches three students. When children turn eleven, they need to move to Nuuk to continue school. It can’t be easy to leave your parents at such a young age!
With our bellies full of cream and berries, we headed home with a sugar-high.
Our hosts walked us back to the boat, to pick up some whipped cream that Jon had brought in from Nuuk. The local store only gets a new delivery every 14 days with the postal boat, so you can imagine that it runs out of things sometimes. Jon became the postman. =)
It was then time to head home. On the way back we tried a new type of surfing – on an open boat! (Perhaps it was to balance out the boat a bit, but it was sooooo fun).
This sailing trip was with Touring Greenland, one of the two main touring providers in Nuuk.
Postscript: Thanks to Jonas’ parents for lending us their little handy camera too! Marianne and Carsten came to Greenland for a two and a half week visit, so we planned a few adventures into the nature. This included hiking up the mountains, visiting the whale graveyard, spotting whales and gorgeous icebergs. Besides that, it was just lots of relaxing time in the city and cafes!
- Destination Sermitsiaq: helicopter flight over Nuuk (thefourthcontinent.com)
- Mysterious mass whale graveyard unearthed in the Chilean desert (mnn.com)
- Trout fishing with bare hands in Nuuk (thefourthcontinent.com)
- A sailing adventure to the abandoned fishing village of Kangeq (thefourthcontinent.com)
- For The Love Of Sailing: It’s Worth The World! (thefourthcontinent.com)
- The bullets, three reindeer and love in Greenland (thefourthcontinent.com)
- Magical Greenland: Icebergs and whales (fourthcontinent.com)