Existing Member?

Pixel Narrations

Day 11: Eternity Fjord

GREENLAND | Monday, 21 October 2013 | Views [2333]

Pointing a Location on Map

I was still packing when our Komatsu Wheel Loader came to the front door to cargo luggage to the dock, and I was late. I ended up carrying all my bags in three flights of walking back and forth, had missed breakfast and worse, we were leaving Kangamuit after having spent the three loveliest days. With a heavy heart, and a promise to be back someday, I waved our friends goodbye and boarded the Taga 37, all aboard for Eternity Fjord, the most beautiful one on the West Coast of Greenland.

The boat ride through the meandering fjord was surrounded by some of the highest mountains in West Greenland, rising vertically to a height of over 5000 feet. Dark brooding clouds hovered over the glaciers that seemed to be tumbling out of the mountainsides. Inquisitive birds flew back and forth, while some lazy ones sat perched on taupe cliffs we passed.

Bird in Flight

The Boat speeded through the Fjord, it was tough to balance and shoot the first when we took a ride like this, but now, despite the icy coldness, there was a sense of friendliness in familiarity, the fjords like you better as you adapt. I had come to know the boat movements better. The sea spray had a wild foam glee about itself, and wearing gloves was passé. My fingers felt like claws of a dead bird, but gloves inhibited shooting especially when there was so much around, and so much excitement from the sheer speed. The cold icy wind was enough to freeze your bones, and if that wasn’t enough, we were nearing the Glacier, where it pushes water and chunks of fallen ice forward, creating a U-shaped body in the sea, Fjord.

Water stretched for ends starting with shades of bluish-green turning coal grey in the distance from the brooding clouds hovering above. As if dissatisfied with this curtain of ripples, a mountain lurked in the distance breaking the horizon. Its melancholy beauty and whites of fresh snow on its dull brown peaks; enticing you to come, come closer, if you dared.    

Eagle flying High Mist Mountains Bird

The closer we went to the Glacier, the bigger the ice floating around grew- grease ice, chunks of ice, iceberg- adding to the mist and mystery. It looked like chinaware thrown on floor, after a heated altercation, its pieces in various sizes scattered around when the Glacier was unhappy with all the global warming, and was chucking off its blocks, throwing them on its floor, in a muffled rage.

Greenland is losing two billion tons of ice every year. Our Skipper pointed out that few months back, the Glacier was closer and pointed to a mountain, now brown in color with rocks bulging out, wasn’t visible the last time he was here. The Glaciers were receding.  

Skipper on Boat MATTA Manitsoq

The nearer we went to the Glacier, the more we anticipated its movements. Small chunks of ice were falling off, our Skipper wasn’t happy with the idea, the propeller could get stuck in an iceberg or worse, get broken. It was dangerous, but Jason was eager. And, the Skipper was skilled. So slowly, turning the boat and inching closer, he got us to the spots Jason thought had better angles. I was hoping to capture the ongoing action closer, to create images that were powerful and showed the phenomena in its intensity. Jason and I had a long conversation on National Geographic and how it stands for Communication, always. He suggested that I take shots that convey my thoughts on what I feel and something that captures the essence in the same frame, and the complexity of it. Getting shots like that wasn’t easy. 

Glaciers are receeding

We were close to the Glacier, waiting, shooting, and talking. Gulls flew over and a colony of sea birds hovered over an iceberg in the distance, adding life to a place unimaginably inhospitable. I had moved to the back of the boat, I was waiting for activity and my fingers and head were numb from the cold. I wanted to step inside for a minute to warm my hands inside the boat’s cozy confines, and the minute I turned to go, there, a large chunk of the Glacier came tumbling off, like the ones we were waiting for. I cursed my luck. Waited for more, and disheartened, gave up. Everyone else was in the front deck; I walked towards, thinking they must have gotten some great footage and shots from the action, I was eager to see. Instead, I saw Jason using extremely intriguing language and everyone else laughing his anger off. He had missed the action battling with his GoPro menus whilst setting up for under water shots. Oops.

Glacier Chucking off Ice

We spent some more time and headed back to Maniitsoq, passing breathtaking sights along the way. It started to snow and the clouds added to many a moody shots. Simon had promised his Mamiya to me once we reached Maniitsoq, to shoot at a cemetery we had passed on the way from the airport. The weather was going worse from bad when nearing Maniitsoq. The boat ride was one bumpy roller coaster jostling the few of us trying to take a nap, wide-awake. One wave rocked the boat so hard that Dan hit his head against the ceiling. 

We reached Maniitsoq and checked into our hotel, hurried off to the cemetery. I was looking forward to shooting with the Mamiya, and had just made my first two shots when the guys said they wanted to film me. When we started the light was dying, and poor Simon had to stand holding an LED to my face while I recollected bits from the amazing trip getting overtly nostalgic that it was nearing its end. By the time we were done, the light was gone, and with it, my Mamiya shots. 

Dead Baby’s Grave

Tags: cemetery, kangamuit, manitsoq, sailing

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Greenland

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.