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Seal among the icebergs

July 2005: Seal among the icebergs

Greenland 2008

We have fallen in love with Greenland, and hope to return there in the summer of 2008 or 2009.

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at anchor in Appat

Report from Jess Abbott of Edinburgh:

"At the moment we are cruising around a wonderful mountainous area with fjords and islands galore. Every place has about three names; Greenlandic, Danish, and variations. We are currently at 71deg 05min North, 51deg 20mins West, tied with four shore lines in a beautiful rocky inlet. The shore lines are fantastic a) because you can see what they're tied to and b) because we have four of them, we can protect ourselves from more than one, if not all directions! We also used the lifting keel in the last anchorage, which was great. Seal can go just about anywhere, which opens up so many options for exploring! We have a 100-foot hose tied into a stream on shore so we have unlimited flowing fresh water on the boat for washing, showers, cooking etc. I am being spoiled rotten with luxuries.

mushrooms "We have been living off mushrooms. There are wonderful ceps everywhere, and I found a huge crop of horse mushrooms yesterday. So far we have had omlette, spagetti al fungi, risotto al fungi and mushroom soup. Mushrooms on toast and mushroom polenta are yet to feature! Such a treat. We have been eating quite a few mussels too. Helen can eat them faster than any of us. The fishing is disappointing though. Hamish tries every now and then for a cod and gets only what I would call 'bottom-feeders'. We have been very lucky with the weather with only one rainy and one windy day so far. The windy day gave us a chance to do some sailing, which was great.

hiking on Appat

"The scenery is really unbelieveable. Spiky snowy mountains everywhere, and fantastic icebergs. Large arches are ridiculously common, and every time we find one we sit about for a while, at a safe distance, waiting for it to fall down. No luck yet. We went up a hill the other day on Appat island, which Hamish rekons is just higher than Ben Nevis. I think he worked this out more on principle than with mathematics, but it was a fantastic hill. It was effectively a large scree slope on one side and a vertical cliff from summit to sea on the other, with views that are definitely not deserved after you've only been walking for four hours." (August 2, 2005)

Watch the 2005 Greenland Slideshows

Recommended reading:

The Vikings
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

(Museum of Natural History)

A huge and sometimes contradictory history of the Norse, how they came to Greenland in the 10th century, and why they vanished in the 15th. Click here to buy from Amazon

The Greenlanders
The Greenlanders

(Jane Smiley)

If the scholars confuse you, here's a storyteller's compelling take on how the Norse lived and died in Greenland. Click here to buy from Amazon

Both these books were in high demand aboard Seal this summer.