It was typically cold in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where an overcast sky spit icy rain as we hurried across the tarmac from plane to terminal.
M/V Sea Spirit was in Nuuk to the south and weather, the ruler on many expedition cruises, explained why the country’s primary airport was at a former World War II U.S. military base instead of the capital. Planes can get into Kangerlussuaq almost 300 days a year, far more often than in Nuuk.
To fill the time between flights, Poseidon arranged a buffet lunch at Restaurant Roklubben. My friend and I were the only Westerners in a group of 28 Chinese so conversation was limited to smiles and well-meaning gestures. The fare was a smorgasbord of Greenlandic specialties including muskox stew, seal stew and whale blubber.
Not knowing what lie ahead and assuming there would be other opportunities to sample such fare I ate sparingly of the exotic, trying only the ox stew which was delicious. Don’t follow my example. There won’t be another opportunity.
At Nuuk we were warmly welcomed aboard M/V Sea Spirit, a handsome ship with en suite cabins for 114. As luggage was delivered we received our ship’s cards and took advantage of the shuttle bus into Nuuk.
We barely had time to do justice to the Culture House, the national museum, and take a drive-by look at this capital of 17,316 residents and three traffic lights.
By six, all were aboard for the compulsory safety briefing and drill. And listening. It’s one thing to be distracted when cruising balmy island waters but when surrounded by icebergs, safety takes priority.
A concert by the Nuuk Choir rewarded our attention and after dinner we gathered again in the Oceanus Lounge for parka and boot distribution. The boots we borrowed, but unlike other expedition programs, the red, arctic weight parkas complete with patches were ours to keep.
It had been a very long day and we decided to finish unpacking and settling into our fourth deck cabin instead of trying out the Club down the passageway where Piotr entertained at the piano.