As sailing is over it was everyone to sleep in the tent last night. A bit too cramped for me, so I bivied out leaving the tent to the guys and also to enjoy one last sunset and sunrise. The night turned out to be very windy and I had to retreat to the pilot tent sleeping on top of the kites. As we woke up, it was a strange feeling not having to check the wind direction and speed to decide which kite to use. We woke early as the helicopter was to pick us up at 10. A quick breakfast and then we started to disassemble the tents and sledges. It took us around 3 hours, meanwhile the snow just got softer and softer having us step into the under layering water. The Sikorsky came as the weather started to deteriorate, so we hurried to load all equipment and the sledges into the helicopter and off we went. The very kind pilots had been so farsighted to our needs and supplied us with Coca Cola, Pringles and Kit Kat…. they know what you crave for after almost two months on the ice.
Flying over the rolling hills around Kangerlussuaq was surprisingly pleasant for the eyes. To see something green and stepping out of the helicopter suddenly having smells again, was a bit as a slap in the face of nice stuff. Funny how you don't know you've missed something before you have it again.
We located ourselves at Old Camp again, had a shower which was a big disappointment. After 8 weeks of no washing wearing the same clothes there was no hot water!!!
Then we headed for an exceptional meal of reindeer and mosk ox steak at the Rowing club restaurant, flushed down with exceptional good locally brewed black berry beer. We were then all toast, but Hugo and Ramon manned up and continued a bit at the airport hotel bar while the rest of us hit the sack.
|At least one didn't grow a beard|
Manolo, Ramon, Karin, Eusebio, Hugo
Video showing some really fast sailing the last 15 hours
|A final night out on skis|
|Off for another ski tour|
Sunset and sunrise with a half-moon just beautiful, all pink and soft blue with a bit of snow blowing of the surface.
|Entrance into DYE3covered with very soft snowy icicles|
Wind has increased but turned east so we may be stuck here for a while.
|DYE3 appearing in the mist|
Day 44, 17 June
Absolute vacuum this night so no progress. The good thing is, I got to go out on another ski tour all night. Just amazing when the tent has disappeared having 360dgr of icecap to myself, feeling really lucky to be able to do this.
360dgr of pretteness
Day 43, 16 June, N65"47' W42"56', 2288m, 28km, total 3251m
We came across two old camps from previous groups crossing the icecap, spotting the snow walls from a long distance,. Actual one camp could be smelled before spotted as the not so nice remains had been exposed sending a distinct odour our way. Two terns came by the tent while eating breakfast. We are now only 105km from the coast and about 105km to DYE3 that is our next waypoint.
|A very atmospheric night changing kite right on the Arctic Circle latitude|
The Icecap -You would think that after more than 40 days on the icecap you would be very tired of starring at the same flat and white landscape with no obstacles for variation. Not the case, the eyes fast learn to see all the many variations, valleys, sun/ shadows, the ever entertaining millions shapes of the sastrugis and the funny tricks by the eyes seeing ice falls, land and big lakes, and keep finding it fascinating. What an amazing place the ice cap is. Already looking forward to going back in two months’ time :) :) :)
|Ramon with the 'roadmap'|
|Some major construction work on the tent sledge|
Sastrugis -these amazing things that comes in a million shapes, never get tired looking at them. We use them for navigation, surf them and get really annoyed with them when the kite lines are caught in them, making a take off very difficult. They provide hours of entertainment just looking at their many shapes when sailing and keeps us awake as they make the ride very bumpy and a big challenge to sleep in our moving home, when you get air knocked out of you every minute going over bigger sastrugis with high speed. In Spanish they are categorized as sharks, tiger sharks, sardines, school of sardines ....
Keep wondering how it would be to kite with skis in these conditions, as the skis must easily be caught in the sastrugis when this big.
Day 36, 09 June, N70”26’ W32”49’, 2857m, 100km, total 2581km, -11C day
Have been using more energy than expected and I have the sickest fat cravings. Now it's not bread with butter but butter with a little bit of bread and butter on and in everything possible. Catastrophically the rations of butter was miscalculated and we have been on reduced rations for a while.....seal fat is left which some of the other eats, but I think not! too hard on the stomach and the taste not the best. We use it to lubricate the kite pulley as well!!. Unfortunately I eat to slow and because I start our three meal in a row session with oats, I’m rarely able to get enough of the nice fatty cheese and ham Ramon brought from Spain as here it’s who gets there first get some.
Had a little precious moment of magic while waiting an hour 300m from the sled for signal to set up the kite. A little lonely lost migrating sparrow swivelled around me, sat by my feet looking a bit bewildered at me before heading south.
Now on latitude with Constable Point & Liverpool land one of Greenland's many Spectacular gems - good memories.
|Many hours spend in the sewing room|
Day 32 05 June N73.02 W32.33, 3000m, 88km, total 2288km
|Breakfast and not from a boil in the bag|
|Defrosting after some repair work|
|I'm not the only one with finger issues|
Day 29, 01 June, N75”19’ W34”29’, 2709m, 43 km total 1983km
|Hugo sorting out 300m of noodles|
How lucky I am, 360dgr just me and my ski tracks
Multiple layers of mittens trying to keep the fingers warm
Day 27, 30 May, N75”59’ W35”30’, 2564m, 63km total 1902km, -25 C night
Eusebio making it comfortable in the pilot tent waiting for wind
The big Monster 80m2 kite trying to take off
How lucky I am, 360dgr just me and my ski tracks
Day 16, 20 May N78”30’ W43”38’, 2453m, 99 km, total 1322 km
|Selection of dried Greenlandic food snack |
ammasets, whale, mosk ox and cod
Tried setting up the 80 kite with a 300m line around 18 but wind was too weak to do any sailing.
Tent down for repair
Sun dogs Ramon an Hugo using mental power. If you stare long enough the wind will change direction.
A bit of man hauling to reposition the sledges
Day 06 10 may, 21km , -22C night
|Pulley system for reposition the sledge|
Hugo and I are going to be piloting from early evenings and into the early mornings. That will be the coldest hours but we get to enjoy both sunset and sunrise which has been out of this world the last two nights. Wish I was able to send pictures but try to imagine - sailing on a never ending pale blue surface, on one side a big blue moon is rising on the other side the sun resting in an incredible golden sea that it seems you’ll disappear into, and for the final tuch both sides covered by an artist airbrush of red, blue and golden colours.
|Kite being swallowed by the sun|
|Pilot team Karin and Hugo|
|Pilot team Manolo and Eusebio|
Team 2014 Greenland Circumnavigation Expedition
(Ramon, Manolo, Karin, Eusebio, Hugo)
Not exactly packing light. Total weight incl. 5 explorers 1,5 ton!