30-31 July 2023: Illulisat

Illulisat is a very busy fishing harbour and there is a lot of activity all day long. Thindra has been here for a couple of days already and they are waiting for their fuel filters delivery. Pelagic and Skip Novak are also here alongside – an icon in the yachting world and it’s a privilege to exchange a few words.
The colorful little town is very pleasant to walk around, there is definitely a big tourism influence with many tour operators offering all kinds of whale watching and iceberg experience activities. The walk along the shoreline provides a breathtaking view of the floating bergs, all calved from the gigantic and most active Jacobshavn glacier. I take a moment to pause and take it all in while Calin sends the drone out for a bird’s eye view. What an incredible sight. Occasionally, a humpback whale surfaces and sends its blow high in the air before showing off its characteristic fluke. I look around and I see nature in its perfection.
Petter has purchased some halibut from the local fisherman and scored a full bucket of small shrimps out of a large bin of rejected for their unqualifying size, a rare delicacy that we enjoyed with homemade aioli.
The Ilulissat Icefjord center was fascinating, not just for its unique modern construction but also for its incredibly interesting content on ice formation and inuit life in Greenland. 2 hours were barely enough to take it all in. And right by the museum, at the edge of the town, we walked through “dog city”, where all the working huskies are tied up waiting for the winter to arrive. While it seems sad at first glance, it makes sense to keep them tied and away from one another or they would fight to assert themselves as alphas. We have been warned not the pet them – albeit very tempting. They are working dogs rather then pets. Only the puppies are free to roam around and they are much more approachable.
We now have just been told by a not so friendly fisherman that we shouldn’t be here as we are taking the space of a fishing boat. Undoubtedly, sailboats are not so welcome in Greenlandic harbours. Luckily, we are allowed to stay for our last night, we are planning to be off very early in the morning anyway after refuelling.

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