August 12th, 2011: Crossing the Scoresbysundes

Crossing

Friday, 12. August 2011
Pos.: 70°28'92 N - 21°58'31 W

We took advantage of the excellent weather this last week and undertook an extensive tour through Scoresbysund. It was a fantastic trip through the biggest and longest fiord system in the world. In order to illustrate, here are some facts on this fiord system: It holds a total surface of 38.000 square km. (Denmark, for example, has a surface of 43,000 square km.), the longest fiord has a distance of 340-350 km. It was named after William Scoresby, who mapped in fine detail the Kangertittivaq in 1822.

The biggest island in this complex is Milne Land with a surface of 3,913 square km.

We sailed around this island during our tour through the fiord system. The landscape here is breathtakingly beautiful, cliffs reach to the skies with a height of up to 2000 meters, and there are countless icebergs which shimmer in all colours. Within the fiord there is a different vegetation than on the coast. The climate on the coast is a high Arctic climate and is therefore colder and allows less vegetation.

A view of the current ice charts complicates further planning.

Ice conditions

Raimer, Brigitte and Achim have left us in the meantime. They flew home from Constable Point in the middle of the week. We have arrived in Ittoqqortoormiit once again, where we fill up the tanks and take on provisions. One look at the actual ice maps makes further planning difficult. Continuing along the eastern coast of Greenland is difficult because ice conditions this year are very compact. All together there is little ice in the northern Polar regions. Both sea routes along the Canadian and Siberian coasts are once again free of ice. Ice is therefore continuing to melt and break up. This means that the ice is drifting southward and this is causing the thickness of the ice along the eastern coast of Greenland. A look at the actual ice map of the University of Bremen makes this clear.

We will report just how far the ice allows us to continue north ...

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Thursday, 11. August 2011