August 11, 2012 – Cruising Prince Christian Sound

On most maps the southern tip of Greenland looks solid, but it actually consists of many channels with Prince Christian Sound being one of the largest as can be seen on this map.

 

 

Well, we finally did get to cruise the Prince Christian Sound at the southern tip of Greenland. During our west-east transit the captain decided it was too dangerous to try and navigate the passages of the sound. Fortunately today the weather was perfect, bright and clear and the wind was not too severe.

We did not reach the sound until about 1:00 PM but the morning was not idle. I attended two excellent lectures by our guest Explorations Speakers. The first was by Professor Melvyn Foster whose “hobby” is seafaring history. He presented an excellent lecture about a topic I really wasn’t familiar with “Women Pirates”.

 


The next lecture was by Professor Paula Lupkin whose expertise is in architectural history. She has given several lectures about the various ports we have visited, but in her biography I noticed that she was working on a book regarding how beer helped shape the landscape in America from the late 1800 through prohibition. I asked her about this and she said several others had inquired as well. As a result she agreed to do a lecture on the subject. It too was excellent and very enjoyable. It was a smaller audience than the other lectures but those of us there were true beer aficionados and a lively discussion followed her lecture.

After enjoying these lectures and then a quick lunch (I missed the Mariner Society’s Brunch to listen to the beer lecture). I went up to deck 12 and quite literally tied myself to an antenna tripod in order to view and photo the sound. On the top deck with the wind coming down the sound, the wind speed was probably approaching 70 knots and it was too strong to just stand and photograph without being anchored to a rail or mask. I remained topside for about an hour and then retired to our lanai stateroom to photograph from the lower deck.

Below are a few of the more than 500 photos I took. I will try to make a few comments but can’t guarantee that the comments will appear with the photos…

 


Here the ship was heading toward the entrance of the sound.

We had the opportunity to see a number of glaciers and received an excellent lesion in glaciology form our resident guide.

In this close-up you can see some small bergs being calved into the sound.

We passed this small village, which has about 130 persons living here, 20 children in school. It is truly in the middle of nowhere. When the ship was sited, many people were running along the rocky coast to wave. After we just passed the village three small boats came from the inlet behind the village. They each has two adults and several children. They were excited and continued to follow us for a while we waved at each other. The captain blew the ships horn in acknowledgement and it seemed to thrill the villagers. This must have been the most exciting thing for them is a while.


As we left the sound the wind was blowing so strongly it caused the ship to list to one side. I got this photo to illustrate the strength of the wind. If you compare the horizon to the deck you can appreciate the power of the wind.

Early tomorrow morning we will be visiting Qaqortoq, Greenland.

 

 

 

 

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