The isolation of Greenland’s Scoresby Sound in the frozen north

This post originally appeared on Classic Boat

frozen north

The isolation of Greenland’s Scoresby Sound in the frozen north is only accessible by boat

From the Classic Boat May 2017 issue (CB347)

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An insolent lump of ice scrapes against the bright-green oxidised copper fixed to the bow of the schooner Opal as we sail further into the frozen north. The sea is dead quiet. The black water appears stiff, but not frozen. As we sail deeper into the mouth of the Scoresbysund (Scoresby Sound, Kangertittivaq in Inuit), the number of ice chunks that break the black colour of the water as white speckles grows. Captain Heimir Harðarson gives the command to pull in the already reefed sails and pursues his course on noiseless electricity.

The ice propagates quickly: like curious, white, sea creatures coming to inquire from all around. Chunks become ice blocks, ice plates, and then a majestic blue iceberg looms at the horizon. The ice is everywhere now. Slush scrapes playfully but slowly against the copper and disappears under the bow. Carefully we approach Solglacier, a 12km-long (7.5 mile) ice mass moving at the slow rate of ten meters per day, which is considered a fast moving glacier. The unstoppable pushing mass creates a continuous deafening spectacle.

Shreds of mist drape against the black perpendicular basalt walls, which look down upon us like 2,000m-high gatekeepers on both sides of the ice mass. Over there, a blue, icy avalanche breaks loose with a sound comparable to a jet fighter breaking through the wall of sound while the turbine of a 747 is warming up 30m further away.

Blue ice is old ice. On the right, a thousand lumps fall towards the water, freed from the glacier to which they have belonged for thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of years. Opal quietly manoeuvres along, deeper and deeper into Scoresbysund.  Read more on Classic Boat

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Admire the world's most beautiful boats, brought to life through breath-taking photography. Classic Boat offers a unique blend of yacht reviews, seamanship and restoration features, history and design columns, practical advice and coverage of the leading international regattas and events.  Read Classic Boat digital edition anywhere on any device via ZINIO.

Source: This story first appeared on Classic Boat

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