Our wait for a turn on the slip for the „Dagmar Aaen“ is a real hard test of patience. There is only this one shipyard within reach so we just have to be patient and wait until the overhauling work on the trawler which is now on the slip has been completed and the ship can get back into the water. This will happen within the next few days – but when exactly - Wednesday maybe or Thursday? We are told “Immaqa” which freely translated means “maybe” or “who knows”. This has a little to do with the Greenlandic mentality. One is not in a hurry in Greenland.
Aasiaat is a city with 3100 inhabitants and is the 5th largest city in Greenland. It lies on the southern entrance to Disco Bay and is therefore strategically important. The harbor is strongly frequented by fishing boats, deep-sea trawlers as well as old and modern plastic boats with strong outboard motors, which due to lack of roads replace cars. Up to four ships from the “Royal Arctic Line”, which bring good from Denmark, moor here at the pier at the same time. Most of these goods are then reloaded onto smaller ships which supply the remote communities in the area. An incredible logistic system is necessary to supply a total of 56,000 inhabitants of Greenland’s population with food, heating fuel, household goods and other goods of all sorts. There are no roads in Greenland and so the transport of goods is on sea routes or in the air.
Aasiaat is different from Upernavik in that it offers more possibilities. There are hotels, a seaman’s hostel, a few well supplied supermarkets, pubs, a ferry connection and cultural events. One of the largest rock festivals in Greenland took place here on the weekend. But this is not our reason for travelling to Greenland. It is the magnificent nature which captivates us. The tourist information office rents out kayaks. A few of us take advantage and paddle under beautiful weather conditions among fin whales swimming back and forth directly by the entrance to the harbor. Other crew members undertake long hikes in the area. We meet the Frenchman Philipp who, in his converted tugboat “Le Minguère”, takes artists on board and spends the winter with them during the polar night. We meet many interesting people here.
There is a saying: power lies in poised composure. It certainly is not easy for us to wait for our repair time at the shipyard – we want to get on our way. But again, it has been these unplanned stopovers which have brought people and their lives closer to us.