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    • Would go you boating here in an open skiff??

      The locals do it every day....

      I recently returned from Ilulissat, on the west coast of Greenland, which had a very busy harbor of small boats that went out into the icefields every day fishing and hunting. Among glaciers 10-30 stories tall.

    • What a photo! I would be too cold to even get out the camera. We need to know more! Who gets to go to Iceland and do this?!

    • If you posted this amazing photo on DP Reviews, all the home-bound cat photographers would cry about the flat light. hahahahha Like Chris, I want to know more, PLEASE!

    • Anyone can go to Greenland - just get to Copenhagen or Reykjavik and then fly to Nuuk, or Ilulissat or Constable Point. It is only about 3 hours by air ( twin engine turboprop ) to Ilulissat from the domestic airport in Reykjavik. Greenland has a population of about 56,000 people, some 45,000 of whom reside in Nuuk the capital of Greenland. Nuuk is abut 250 miles south of Ilulissat. Iulissat has a population of about 4000 souls. They have a very busy harbor and an active engagement with tourists with a couple local coffee shops - but no Starbucks. Think of Iceland 8-10 years ago.

      From very brief reading of a local business magazine - business is brisk and growing at 7-8% in Greenland, and includes fishing, hunting, mining and other industries. Many natives are still engaged in subsistence fishing and hunting. That is who were in the skiff heading into the ice field in the picture above,

      We spent 5 nights on the La Louise - a French, wooden hulled, 60 foot long, Kevlar enveloped, sailboat with carbon fibre masts and spars, that has sailed around the world several times. It returns to France at the end of tourist season, near the end of September each year.

      We were about 69 degrees north, and the weather was pretty typical late artic summer - temps in the 30s->40s Farenheit, with days of fog and heavy overcast, and a few days of gorgeous sunshine, no wind, dark cloudy skies, and beautiful color. There is a large calving glacier just south of Ilulussat harbor, so there is substantial ice to navigate coming into and out of the harbor. The image of the skiff in the icebergs was dehazed just a bit, it was even flatter and foggier than the image as shown above.

      Below is a map of the southern half of Greenland with Ilulissat Identified. Almost due ENE of Ilulissat, on the eastern coast of Greenland, is Scoresby Sound, where I was in 2015 - it is just below the green area of National Park

    • Here is a closer look at a satellite image of the west coastal area - the La Louise took us from Ilulissat north up to Oqaatsut which is where the mate on our sailboat was from. He wore knee high seal skin boots - real ones from real seals, and said they were quite warm and comfy, He made them himself. I'll have a picture later.

    • And here is Oqaatsut in early morning light after the fog cleared.

      The land you see in the image is only about 200 yards deep strip of land, and there is water behind the town as well as in front

    • The other subject in Greenland, is sled dogs. Not necessarily huskys, but large footed dogs

      In the village, all dogs over 6 months of age were chained up - sled dogs are working dogs, not pets, and keeping mother chained up keeps the puppies from running off. And there are lots of puppies that roam free

      I think there are 7 dogs in the next picture, how many do you find? Hint: There are two under the sled.

      I realized I said they have big paws, and then posted a picture with their feet hidden. Here is a dog waiting for its turn at a seal carcass being cleaned, that shows its front paws better. I would estimate this dog weighs around 65 pounds - so not a small dog, but not a St Bernard either.

      My what big feet you have!

    • Thank you for the kind words.

      Yes, that is La Louise. I prefer the pano image of it, at anchor, seen below. But you can't see as much detail of the ship.

      The color of the ship is very low key, and hides the sophistication of the vessel, but works well with the color of the artic ice. I suspect the color was chosen for both of those reasons.

      I was aboard several days before I realized there was no moisture condensation anywhere within the vessel - think about that a minute - in the cold artic water and the hull is so well insulated that there is no condensation on the inside surface of the hull or even on the portals. Quite a boat.

      We boated through floating ice that very few sailboats would even get close to, I suspect.

      The three little lost sheep are the white spots at the base of the large lava mountain and between the two piles of lava rock at the base of the mountain - you have to click on the image above to see it larger to really see them - they're just white spots until you really see the image large.

      The Highlands seemed like a very hostile environment for sheep to me - but we later saw some shepherds rounding up sheep in very similar black volcanic terrain in the Highlands of Iceland.

    • I mentioned the size of the dogs feet earlier - here's an image I didn't edit initially, too much crop needed, but, for me, it really shows well the size and strength of the dogs front legs and feet

    • Thanks for the kind words, Rich. Yes, the light in the high arctic can be quite beautiful, or it can be pretty grey.

      It keeps calling me back. I'm trying to talk myself out of returning to Svalbard.

      I stated in an earlier post that I would post an image of real indigenous seal skin boots - done

      And another arctic sunset

    • Beautiful sunset glow. Love those seal skin boots. Form follows function.

      I think it's so important to shed light (no pun intended) on how quickly and dramatically the arctic landscape (or icescape...is that a word?) has been changing up there. The rapid changes in the ice shelves, climate and length of open water season is the canary in the coalmine for the rest of our planet. Please keep us enlightened.

    You've been invited!