Ice, Ice Baby

We woke up this morning (we’d be in trouble if we didn’t!) and once again looked out of our portholes to see what the new day would be like, weather-wise.  Once again it was foggy, but we hoped, like yesterday, it would clear and would be a beautiful day.

Today the Boudicca was docked in Narsarsuaq, which is located within the eastern settlement of the Greenlandic Norse; the Brattahlið farm of Eric the Red established in 875 AD was located on the opposite bank of the Tunulliarfik Fjord, where the modern settlement of Qassiarsukk is situated.  In 1941 the United States built an air base at Narsarsuaq code-named Bluie West One (BW1), as Bluie was the Allied military code name for Greenland.  Thousands of planes used BW1 as a stepping stone on their way from the aircraft factories in North America to the battle grounds of Europe.

Looking out, we saw that Narsarsuaq seemed very remote; there were lots of hills, mountains and the blue sparkling sea with the inevitable icebergs, but not many buildings.  We were told that the town was about a 3km walk away (each way) and all that was there was a museum and a tourist information.  We decided it wasn’t worth a 4-mile walk to see them, particularly as my broken toe was still apt to be a little painful after too much walking.

We therefore spent the morning on board the Boudicca and had our lunch at 12.00 noon, as we had to be at the Neptune Lounge to collect our ticket for the local boat that would be taking us out to see a glacier and some pretty impressive icebergs.  We had heard people talking about it who had been on the trip earlier, and everyone was raving about how spectacular it was, so we were looking forward to it.

At 1.00pm we disembarked the Boudicca and made our way dockside, to join the little boat that would take us to the Qoroq Fjord.  There were only about a dozen passengers to ensure that everyone would get a good view.

Once on board, Trevor went inside the boat, but I went immediately to the bows, along with half a dozen other people.  The boat was a speed-boat and once he set off, full throttle, the wind rushing past our exposed faces and hands felt very cold indeed.  Maybe I should have taken a leaf out of Trevor’s book and gone inside.  🙂

When we reached the glacier the driver knocked his engines back a bit, allowing people to take pictures as he slowly turned around.  At this point I decided to join Trevor inside the warmth of the boat’s interior, and to be honest I had just as good a view out of the large windows.

Once we reached the fjord we were treated to the sight of immense icebergs, some of them with that intense blue colouration.  Icebergs started off as parts of glaciers, hundreds of years old, where the ice is under immense pressure.  As a result, all the air if forced out and when long wavelength light (i.e. red) from the sun hits the iceberg, it is absorbed, rather than reflected. The light transmitted or refracted through the ice returns as blue or blue-green.  They were unbelievably beautiful, these huge entities, enough to sink a ship, and the sun shone down (yes, the fog had cleared by now) from a sapphire-blue sky and sparkled and twinkled on the calm blue waters.  This was amazing; I wish I had more words in my vocabulary to describe it.  We didn’t rave about it the way some passengers had, but maybe that’s because we’d seen bigger and better on our unforgettable Antarctic expedition in January 2006, so we were spoilt!   🙂

Nonetheless, it was still a trip worth doing.  We joked that everyone is going to go home with lots of pictures of lumps of ice.  Can you imagine how bored friends and family are going to be when we show them our holiday snaps?  You really have to be there, I suppose.  🙂

Back on board we went out on deck for a while, had an afternoon nap, then pottered about for a bit before going to the Lido Lounge for the afternoon quiz, where we shared our winnings (bottle of cava) with the rest of the team – Steve and Marilyn, Michael and Julia.  This time our team name was “Cruising, Boozing and No Longer Losing”.  🙂

We did the quiz and scored 18/20, and of course it went to a tie-breaker.  But we won!!  That’s two on the trot, and it meant another couple of prize tokens to add to our current stash of 18.  🙂

Afterwards we stayed on for the bingo, and we won 37 quid for our total stake of 20 quid.  So overall it has cost us £60.00 for the bingo but we’ve won a total of £73.00.  So not a bad investment then.  🙂

Then off we went for our dinner, followed by the evening’s entertainment as usual in the Neptune Lounge.  There were two shows; first of all Jonny Beck (the senior host) doing some swing songs, then another performance by Oliver Lewis, who holds the record for being the fastest violinist in the world.  Once again he gave us an excellent performance, mixing a bit of classical in with a bit of contemporary.

There was no featured show in the Lido Lounge tonight, so we just went along for a few drinks and to listen to the Colin James the pianist, as well as the Timeline Duo.  Then we went to bed fairly early, as we had to be up at 6.20am to go for our tour tomorrow, from the port of Qaqortoq.  The end of another great day. 🙂

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