Exercise Midnight Sun - Greenland 2008

Base Camp News


23rd July 2008


It is moving day again today - it is good to be heading further north.  We had a relatively late night last night, finishing about midnight, though it was hard to tell as it was still broad daylight.  MidnightWe spent a good few hours with Anders and David (remember them - they are the guys who are running the Zodiacs for us) talking through the Advance Base Camp (ABC) builds.  We are utilising the plan we worked through yesterday with a few minor adjustments, so the effort was worth while.  We have 2 – 3 days of fairly good weather forecast so we intent to take advantage of it and the near 24 hr daylight to build Tasiusaq, our logistic hub and the main advance base camp in the Fjord.  This will enable us to live and operate out in Evighedsfjorden whilst we construct the rest of the camps and BT builds the comms network.  The next few days will be busy, but this is why we are here and I am really excited about being in Evighedsfjorden.


We were down at the wharf at about 0830hrs where we picked up some plastic food storage barrels and fuel containers. Then it was on board Angaju Ittuk, the landing craft that brought us to Kangaamiut.  It looked a bit touch and go for a while whether the one of our large boxes and the BT masts would make it on board as there was no room left in the hold, so a couple of load straps secured them on the open deck.


The journey north went well with fairly calm seas (we saw 2 more whales – they are becoming rather commonplace!); that is until we turned west along the northern shore of Hamburgerland and moved out into the Atlantic.  Here the sea swell picked up and Angaju Ittuk was bucked about, the engines straining against the headwind and seas.  We eventually arrived in Kangaamiut about 4 hours later.  All the stores were unloaded; 7 mini containers look like a huge amount of equipment.  The only slight hiccup was when the guy driving the fork lift knocked one of our boxes and one of the BT masts off the dock side; luckily it was high tide and they did not fall far before they hit the deck of the ship.


On the way north we sailed past the mouth of the Fjord and saw all the way down to Ice Camp.  It was really exciting to get sight of it as memories flooded back from last year.  The news in Kangaamiut is that there are nanoqs about in the local area.  Nonoq peltThe pelt in the photo is of a nanoq shot by Noah, our contact in the local area, only few weeks ago.  This is adding an interesting dimension to the planning.  I will keep you posted.

It was then all hands to the pumps as we cracked open the containers and rearranged all into a logical order.  We eventually completed the task at about 0130hrs but we did have the joy of seeing the midnight sun in its full glory.  At this point we should have been joined by Anders and David with the Zodiacs.  Unfortunately the high seas and winds caused the Zodiacs serious problems and Anders and David had to bivi up.  Hopefully they will arrive as soon as the weather improves.  So it is off to bed for a couple of hours and back to the hard work in the morning.


John HW