19 August, Ittoqqortoormiit (more easily referred to as ITQ, it will prevent you tying your tongue in knots when you try to pronounce it)
It is cold, bitterly cold and still quite dark as we are coming up for our 3-6am watch. Too dark to see. And we need to see as there is ice between us and Ittoqqortoormiit as far as the eye reaches.
There is nothing to it, but to motor back and forth along the coast until we have enough light to weave our way through the ice. At least the fog has lifted a good deal and we have an magnificent view of the mountains on the coast. Steep cliffs rising some 1000m out of the ocean, with high peaks behind it and glaciers making their way to the sea.
We're about 6nm south of Kap Brewster, the southern point at the entrance to Scoresby Sund, renowned for big storms and fast currents. Luckily enough, this time it's only ice and a lack of light - we have hardly any wind. Just as well with all this ice.
The sunrise is breath taking, with pink colouring the clouds, the snow on the mountains and some of the bigger icebergs. As it climbs higher, she gets more and more fiery red and more and more little (and some big) icebergs show up against the red sky. They seem to float. I know, they ARE floating, they are drifting on the water, I know. But they seem to float ABOVE the water! Must be some sort of optical illusion.
Once the sun is up, Boogie joins us and we start picking our way through, with one of us up on the bow and the other carefully steering on the directions. Progress has slowed down to anywhere between 1 and 3 knots, but at least we're heading in the right direction again. Looking at it, it almost seems like there is no way through, but once we attack it, a path opens up. After a while, it gets too difficult finding our way through from the bow and Mark gets up on the first spreaders to have a better view and direct the helm from up there.
A couple of hours later and things seem to free up, at least enough so that Mark can come down again. We're speeding up again and are back on a direct track to ITQ.
Not for long though.
When we get to Rosenvinge Bugt, the bay that ITQ is in, there is once again ice everywhere and we're back to 'ice piloting'. We can see another ship in the bay, a big expedition motorship, showing up beautifully against a backdrop of ice, bare mountains, the village and blue skies.
Yes, blue skies! The weather has turned for the better and the high pressure is back: sunshine and blue skies all around! The ice all around us is amazing, in colour, in form, in quantity and we're all just a touch overwhelmed by so much beauty.
We manage to get close to ITQ and can start putting the zodiac together to finally go ashore in Greenland...