East Greenland Expedition: Kayakers Go Around The World and Beyond
While high up in Scoresby Sund, kayakers participating in The World’s East Greenland Expedition had three days of amazing adventures.
The group’s first day of sea kayaking began on a red-sand beach on Red Island. We paddled along-shore amongst numerous icebergs, small bergy-bits and underneath the island’s dramatic vertical cliffs.
Calm mirrored waters, windless seas, and a vista of blue icebergs greeted us as we kayaked through a dramatic kayak-wide rock arch and alongside towering pinnacles of ancient red volcanic deposits and the small tranquil alcoves of red-sand beaches. Our destination was a small bay alongside a mass of ship-sized icebergs grounded by low tide at the north end of the island. The icebergs, closely grouped and being too narrow to safely paddle through, were packed along the shore like a barrier to the bay beyond.
On our way back, we hugged the shallow rocky shoreline and viewed the occasional seal, darting amongst the ice. After returning to the beach, many of us took part in a short swim in the 2°C / 35.6° F Arctic water. One talented member of our group did a dramatic acrobatic headstand maneuver in the cockpit of the kayak. An incredible start to our Greenland sea kayaking adventures!
On the morning of our second day our kayaking group was transported by Zodiac to meet their kayaks on a very remote sandy beach near the head of a deep fjord. The numerous bones of muskoxen, horned skulls and long tufts of fur littered the beach.
As we paddled away from the beach, two small groups of muskoxen were spotted grazing nearby on the tundra-like slopes above. We had another day of calm conditions as we paddled amongst numerous blocks of sculpted ice. A highlight was paddling past the 40-meter high cliffs of ice. Keeping a very respectable distance from the 5km wide ice front, we were rewarded with two massive calvings of ice.
On day three our group had a chance to do something few sea kayakers have ever done before – truly circumnavigate The World.
Launching from a small beach, passing two icebergs en-route, we eventually gathered at the bow of The World for a group photo. The uniqueness of today’s paddle was being out in the middle of the inlet, in completely mirrored sea conditions, amongst some truly huge icebergs. We paddled past a glacial-blue lagoon separating three free-standing huge ice towers all connected by the lagoon bottom. Before coming ashore at the hiker’s beach we paused briefly to give an honorary paddle salute to all of the hikers ashore which ended in the rousing cheer “The World”.