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Qalerallit Imaa Fjord and Glaciers

Qalerallit Imaa Fjord and Glaciers

After spending a quiet night at anchor in Qalerallit Imaa Fjord we set sail towards one of the three glacier branches that dominates the head of the Fjord.

The landscape was completely different from the scenery that we had previously witnessed. Lush green farmland and fields were replaced with rocks and ice. Again we were so lucky with the weather as the sun shone over the heavily glaciated area.

After breakfast the zodiacs were prepared and we jetted off to the Greenland ice cap. It was an amazing feeling to step onto the ice cap, which extends all the way from here to the northernmost tip of Greenland.

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Sadly due to a number of environmental factors the  ice cap is melting and retreating at a rapid rate. Only two weeks before the exposed rock in this photo was completely covered in ice.

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Slowly these rocks will become colonised by vegetation and it will begin to resemble the green land that we saw yesterday.

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After spending a couple of hours exploring the ice cap and the glacier scenery we jumped into the zodiacs and took a cruise along the glacier front to get a closer look. There were some amazing ice cliffs, which were coloured a very vivid blue. This is due to the pressure created by thousands of years of snowfall squeezing all of the air out of the ice leaving just a crystalline mass.

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After a short while our impromptu mini cruise was over and we returned to Rembrandt for lunch. Once on board the Captain raised the anchor and we left Qalerallit Imaa Fjord and headed North East to Manitsoq Island  sailing via Ikersuaq Fjord. We slowly sailed past rocky cliffs and the captain expertly navigated numerous icebergs of varying sizes. On arrival at Manitsoq Island the Captain decided to try and squeeze through the gate to the island, which is just 30m wide. Two of the crew went ahead in the Zodiacs to guide the ship through the gap. The entrance is situated between sheer cliffs and steep mountains on either side offering great views and spectacular scenery. Once Rembrandt had passed through the entrance into the long bay area, the captain found a suitable stop to drop anchor and for us to explore the surrounding areas. Within minutes we had donned our rubber boots and life jackets and were back in the Zodiacs heading to shore. Once on land we took a short walk uphill to the lowest part of the mountain ridge that surrounds the cove. From here the views were spectacular – we could see the bay, the fjords and some of the smaller islands that surround Manitsoq Island.

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 After a short break to enjoy the views some of us decided to continue on and hike up the mountainside. It soon became obvious that this was an area used for hunting as we saw several reindeer bones and even a set of antlers along the way.

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We continued our climb up the hill with an elevation of 350m above sea level. From the lookout point we could see the Rembrandt waiting for us in the bay below and we also saw a mountain lake nestled between two mountains.

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After taking in the stunning scenery we began our ascent downhill. When we reached the lower levels and were closer to the location of the Zodiacs Jordi received a message from the Bridge telling him that the ship needed to leave the Bay as soon as possible. The tide was rising and the wind increasing, which was bringing icebergs closer and closer to the narrow entrance. The Captain decided to sail the ship into the open waters and then the Zodiacs would come back and pick everyone up. We all sat on the sound of the mountain watching Rembrandt sail away into the open waters and would could appreciate how difficult it was to navigate the entrance way of the island.

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Within no time Rembrandt was back in open waters and the Zodiacs returned to take us back to the ship. Once on board we set sail for the town of Qaqortoq, the largest town in Southern Greenland and the forth largest in Greenland, which was where we would dock for the night.