Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Greenland Highlights: Tuesday 31 July 2012 Cape Farewell and Prince Christian Sound

With Iceland behind us, Le Boreal sails for the massive mini-continent of Greenland. Our crossing of the Denmark Strait is uneventful in perfect conditions. Capt Garcia, master of Le Boreal, likens this sometimes tempestuous body of water to a "mini Drake Passage", but today we have a Denmark Lake. A lone Blue Whale escorts us for a short distance bringing amazed passengers quickly on deck for this gold medal opportunity.

Soon after land was sighted mid-afternoon, the call came out that a large pod of whales was sighted dead ahead and just a few nautical miles from the coast off Cape Farewell at the southern extreme of Greenland itself. Capt Garcia brought the vessel to a halt and we were surrounded by a mixed pod of Fin and Minke Whales. Jose, our mammal expert, was beside himself, never having witnessed such a spectacle. We reckon there were as many thirty animals in the pod, with at least half being the massive Fin Whales, the world's second largest whale after the rare Blue Whale.

With perfect visibility, Le Boreal enters Prince Christian Sound, a narrow channel much like Magellan's in Patagonia and tonight we will navigate its length and emerge on the sheltered west coast in the morning. But before dinner there is time to put out the Zodiacs to explore one of Greenland's many glaciers.