Return to Basics

Sunday started out calm with a gentle fog covering the sea. We went out in two motorboats with four photographers in each boat.  Seeing tremendous sculptures of ice slowly emerge from the dense fog was enthralling.  My first thought was, ‘Who is the sculptor?”  He or she must have created these enormous ice sculptures just for the sheer love of doing it, asking nothing in return but gratification of making something that is truly beauty itself.  All morning we roamed in the land of giant ice sculptures, each one more magnificent than the other. 

Later we went up a narrow fjord packed with small sea ice.  We wove our way around the ice floats, occasionally bashing into one with a thump.  Around one more bend was a small house that was built by the owner of our boat, essentially a camp that was as close as you can imagine to the main glacier of Greenland.  We landed just in time for lunch and a bit of exploring of the rock-strewn area.  The plan was to go to the moraine of the glacier but there was far too much sea ice for that.  So as photographers often do, we had come up with a Plan B which was to visit a small community that was ended up being more than 50 miles from our Greenland home and only accessible by boat, a very long difficult walk over the mountains, or by dog sled in the winter time. 

Of the 20 or so houses we saw there, none had anyone inside.  It had become a beautiful day and the entire community was out hunting for food.  It is amazing to realize that communities still exist that not only have to provide food for their families, but have to do so in time honored ways.  In Greenland this means not just the people in a family, but also the dogs because without them travel becomes very limited.  It's a very humbling realization.  

We spent so much time photographing the town and the stunning views, particularly from the local cemetery that we had to return to Tasillaq at full throttle, which still took us 1 ½ hours.