Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Stop: Kangerlussuaq

A lovely morning steam into the Kangerlussuaq fjord - not a fjord like you might expect to see in Scandinavia, but a fjord nevertheless. What made it special was that it was our first real sunrise (and a beauty it was!) in almost two weeks - and I was up early, around 5am, to catch it with a private viewing from the ship's upper deck!

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Fog, very dense at times, was rising from the water when we arrived in Kanger, which made the zodiac trip to the dockside ... interesting ... we completely lost our bearings at one point, and had to be guided in by radio!

About 500 people live here permanently - there's a school, a hospital, a police station, a rec centre, and a couple of bars. We had a quick bus tour around the town, but there wasn't a chance to get off and take photos except when we stopped at the museum.

During the bus ride from the harbour to the town site, we learned that Kanger used to be a major US "outpost" and refueling station, particularly during WWII. That is, until something (the details of which are still unknown) occurred during the 1990's to cause the US military to withdraw from its base almost overnight - leaving half-eaten meals on tables, beer in the fridge (!), and paperwork on officers' desks! Today, three USAF ski-equipped C130's are stationed here, ostensibly for resupplying research posts on the Greenland Ice Sheet. (I just love the "heavies" but have to admit to being nervous photographing them!) Apparently they perform the same service in Antarctica in the northern winter months.

Nowadays, the long (3km!) runway and isolated location is ideal for aircraft testing by both military forces and private developers.



And so concludes my day-by-day narration of the cruise! There are more photos from the trip to come, though, so stay tuned because I'll get them up eventually!

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