Saturday, 28 June 2014

June 28: ice!

In the morning, we wake up at 07:00 to another sunny day.  The weather forecast predicts 23°C.  Apparently, the highest temperature ever recorded in St. Anthony is 24°C.  For a locality (52°N) with the summer climate of Hammerfest (70°N; St. Anthony winters are much colder, though), we couldn't be much luckier.

At 9:00 we leave for the Northland Discovery boat tour, to see the
icebergs up close.  Although we can see them from the coast, most icebergs
are somewhat out at sea and to see them up close should be worth it.  At
our previous two boat trips — one from Andenes and another from Kvaløya —
both Catherine and I got seasick, so we ask if they recommend and have
seasickness tablets.  They think we should be fine.  The ocean is calm

We are around 25 people on a somewhat small boat.  The main reason for the
trip is to see icebergs up close, but if we spot whales we will look at
those too.  There is some music on the boat; it's probably Newfoundlandish
folk music, but indistinguishable from Irish.  Even I recognise a melody.
As we approach the first iceberg, the music is replaced by the well-known
melody from the Titanic movie.

Indeed, from up-close the icebergs are truly immense.  The boat makes a
trip around two icebergs.  The first one has a very nice shape, and the
second one is huge.  And only 1/9th is above sea level.  That means the
total height is some 250–300 metre, and width and length are of similar
magnitude.  A lot of water.  For other icebergs, a sense of scale is
provided because they are close to the shore.  The guide gives us
educational information about icebergs and other aspects of local life.

After we get back to the shore, we do a little hike up the Santana trail,
from Fishing Point to St. Anthony Hill.  There is a warning that the trail
is risky, but it consists entirely of well-maintained stairs.  They must
have a different concept of risky here.  The weather is lovely and we
spend a lot of time at the summit, watching the icebergs at the Atlantic
Ocean, seemingly stationary.  After we get down we have lunch at a picnic
table outside the lighthouse.

Next, Catherine drives to the Burnt Cape peninsula, where we have a hike
on a very barren landscape.

The drive to L'Anse-aux-Meadows is very long.  I didn't fully realise how
empty this land is, but the area between St. Anthony and Eddies Cove is
emptier than almost anywhere I've been in Sápmi/Lapland.

The days are too short.  By the time we arrive in Port aux Choix it's
20:45, and by the time I write this it's after midnight.  And this morning
we get up at 07:00.  Time to sleep now.

Sunburnt among icebergs.

Photos on Fecesbook.

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