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Blaafjeld on the way to Diskofjord                                                                              © Water colour by Ole Jacobi 1996
Tuesday 13 August 1996

Today it is just a week since we left home. Time passes far too quickly when you are feeling good. And we are!

At 7.30 I sit down on the terrace to enjoy the weather. Today the sun is shining again. Skies are blue, and not a wind is stirring.

The teachers are going sailing today on the "Porsild". We've let the skipper, Jørgen Broberg, decide where to go, boarding time at 9.15. He's planned a trip westwards to the settlement of Kangerdluk (Diskofjord). The mate, Johannes, and Jørgen's wife Elisabeth are also onboard. We leave the harbour, and Keld explains to me the advanced equipment onboard the "Porsild". It shows sea depth, temperature, course, and many other exciting things.

Some way out, we encounter a small empty island where some of the town's sled dogs are kept over the summer. Here they are fed twice a week, and they can move around freely without having to be chained. They are considerably nicer and cleaner than the dogs in town. In Northern Greenland, the dog sled is still the preferred mode of transport. Nowadays, the genuine Eskimo dog is found almost exclusively in Greenland. Eskimo dogs have developed a very strict hierarchy among themselves based on the survival of the fittest which is decided over the summer. Masses of birds are flying all around us which Jørgen says are serfaq (black guillemot).

From the very beginning, we are in the midst of the splendours of Greenland. Chalk-white icebergs, white spray and turquoise sea, all a study in blue and white. The icebergs lie close, of all sizes and imaginable shapes. We're sailing calmly and enjoyably, letting the cameras work to catch a fraction of the experience. Betweentimes I feel like pinching my arm to make sure I'm not dreaming.

Inland, there's snow on the top of the mountain. The impression is stamped deep within myself, and I catch myself envying Jacobi his ability to paint. As far as the eye reaches, there's not the slightest hint of a cloud. The sun is shining brightly, the light is quite wonderful.

Here's Johannes coming out on the foredeck to give me a warm blanket. It's so wonderful to sit on, and he's so nice to bring it. I chat a little with Elisabeth. It is her first trip on the "Porsild".

At 1, we're approaching the settlement Kangerdluk. Jørgen moors in the lee of the fiord right off Kangerdluk. The sun is shining on deck, and we agree to have our lunch right here. We spread blankets and arrange our fresh shrimps in a dish. We have also packed fresh bread, butter, mayonnaise and lemon. I've remembered salt and pepper, but on closer inspection, it turns out that I've brought the cardamom tin instead of the pepper tin! Karen has offered to bring white wine which has reached just the right temperature, and also remembered to bring wine glasses, so now it all looks properly festive.

Jørgen, Johannes and Elisabeth share our meal. Elisabeth has told me that she sings in a choir, and when we have finished eating, I ask her whether she would mind singing a Greenlandic song for us. She doesn't mind, and gets up to sing a beautiful song.

Then we are put ashore in Kangerdluk in rubber dinghies. It is a genuine Greenlandic settlement with a small collection of houses spread over the ground, some of them deserted. Small colourful houses placed on the mountainside facing the fiord. The population at the moment is only 67. The flags of simple daily life is fluttering from every clothesline. It must be washing-day today. The inhabitants exist on hunting and fishing: a hard and dangerous life on Nature's conditions. There's a small "Royal Greenland" factory in the harbour which will hopefully keep the settlement alive.

We walk up towards the school and the church which are housed in the same building. Here the caretaker is painting the house blue. As in any small society, our visit is noted carefully, but at a distance.

The connection with Qeqertarssuaq is by ship in the summer and by dog sled in winter. In both cases, it takes four and a half hours each way.

Next picture:On the way home from Kangerdluk
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