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From the look-out on the southernmost point in Godhavn: Meat island, Fortune Bay and a whale        © Water-colour by Ole Jacobi 1996
From ancient times there has been a look-out for whales. It is a shed, painted like the Dannebrog flag, where you can sit protected from the wind and look for whales. In former times there was a small gun here which was fired when a whale was sighted as a signal to the whalers in the harbour.

The shed also functions as a landmark, hence the flag painting. We found a geodetic trigonometric station here.

Thursday 15 August 1996

There's a strong wind from the East today. It's overcast and 4 degrees Celcius.

I'm going to Blæsedalen today with Brian and Lars from XTV. Arne has told them to be here at the Arctic Station at 9, and here they are, so we are going. I have put on warm clothes because of the wind and no sun today.

Arne is on top of the world today, discoursing on geology. Qeqertarssuaq is situated on a peninsula made up of gneiss, that is, ancient rock. The high mountains in the background, the Lyngmarksfjeld and the Apostelfjeld, for instance, stem from the Tertiary. They are "only" 60 million years old and made up of basalt, that is, of volcanic origin.

Ascending, we pass the raised beach. When the ice melted around 10,000 years ago, the ground rose 140 metres because the pressure of the ice lifted. At the same time, the surface of the sea rose about 40 metres due to the melted ice. The upper beach lines are thus 100 metres above the coast line today.

A little higher up we meet creeping soil and soil polygon which Brian and Lars want to film. Creeping soil is found in strange, almost growthless areas, and you can spot which way the soil has crept from ridges in the ground. On sloping areas with humid soil where the permafrost is not very deep, the upper soil levels will slide slowly past the hard permafrost level.

A similar phenomenon called soil polygon can evolve on plane areas. It is found in stony and muddy places without peat cover, and is shaped in circles. It is due to upright ice needles in a lower level of soil growing and pressing the soil upwards, sometimes creating crevices in the ground where stone and gravel will collect.

The TV crew catches Arne on tape demonstrating these phenomena. He's clumping about in the mud in his big boots until it reaches to his knees. He then announces that he's going to dictate a letter to the Master of the University claiming dirt money next year.

Near the lake and in many other places, small rises in the wet meadow can be seen. They are palsa. When ice is separated from an accumulation of water about 1 meter down the peat, the top layer will be pressed upwards, thus the rise. As the palsa is more exposed to frost than the surrounding flat ground, the growth will continue. Sooner or later, the peat will crumble, and wind and weather will erode the palsa.

On our way back, we sit down and enjoy the atmosphere while we eat our lunch. The river here is running in a deep gorge, and from where we've found shelter for the wind we can really hear the rushing of the water. This ought to be a KQ area. It is so special and beautiful that it should be protected from the dangers of mass tourism. That's why you should never reveal the existence of such a place - Keep Quiet in other words.

Arne leaves us to find Elsebeth, Berit and Susanne and see how their project is going. I walk home alone. I'm thinking that Greenland is a fantastic country. With its magnificent arctic nature, it has no equal in the world, it is the stuff of poetry.

Home at the Arctic Station, I prepare the dough for white bread, it's my turn to bake.

For supper today there's rorqual soup with rice, potatoes, carrots and leeks in it. Rorqual is the same as piked whale.

The meeting at the school is cancelled because of the return football match tonight. We have bet them 2 crates of beer.

Well before the start of the match, Martin Søgaard comes hobbling into the Arctic Station. He's been injured during warm-up, and his leg is hurting badly. I put a bag of deep-frozen peas on his thigh, and set him down in a chair. He doesn't look too good, so Arne calls the hospital. A little later they come for him in an ambulance, Arne and I going with him to the hospital. The doctor says that it is a rupture, and prescribes painkillers and a big bag of ice.

Back at the Arctic Station, Martin is put in the good chair again and given a pill and a slice of fresh bread with cheese and a glass of milk which seems to put the colour back in his face. The icebag is firmly attached to his leg. We talk a bit about Sofus who was hurt the last time we played football to the great amusement of the Greenlanders. They are very good at focusing on the comic aspects of such an event, and we manage to make Martin laugh again.

The match is played in driving rain. Keld is team leader, and he's so good that this time we win with 6-4 goals. Now Keld doesn't know how to tell Arne, but luckily Arne has gone to bed when the match is over, so it will have to wait till tomorrow. The six goals were scored as follows: Mikkel scored 2, one from midfield, the goal of the year on the Godhavn field. Torben also scored 2, and Lars and Thomas one each.

Sune, goalkeeper of the Danish team, has now learnt that a keeper may use hands and arms as well! He did very well last Sunday, though, just by using his body.

Next picture: Fortune Bay
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