Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The expedition in film

Throughout the preparations and during the trip we filmed our adventures. Way back in February we shipped out a P&H Scorpio packed with goodies. This was a mini adventure in itself and was documented in the movie 'Shipping Out'.

At Easter most of the gang met at Arisaig to get to know each other and paddle together along the Knoydart coast. Although the weather was not all that good, we had a great time and created the movie 'Paddling the Mists of Knoydart'.

Now that we are back we have a collection of short films that make up a three part mini series...

Part One: 'The Journey to Greenland' is all about how we came to arrive in Tasiilaq via Iceland.

Part Two: 'Heading North' The adventure continues as the expedition team heads north towards the Knud Rasmussen, and Karale Glaciers where they calve dramatically into the sea.

Part Three: 'Wind Ice and Fire'. In the final episode the expedition team heads into icy Sermilik Fjord. They find whales (dead and alive), have problems with strong winds and hear tall tales around the campfire.

East Greenland is an amazing place. The scenery, the people and the ice make it a perfect place for a kayaking adventure.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Where did we go?

This is a basic map of the areas that we paddled in East Greenland.

In 12 days of paddling we traveled over 300 kilometres.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Back Home

From Kulusuk we caught a flight back to Reykjavik where we based ourselves at the city hostel campsite. This gave us a chance to do some more sightseeing and relaxing in the naturally heated outdoor swimming pools that were conveniently situated right next door.

Once we had relaxed as much as we could it was time to catch a flight back to the UK. There are an initial set of photos here.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Back at Tasiilaq

The last three days of paddling took us back to the dusty camp at Tasiilaq. At one point we spent half a day off the water due to strong winds.

Taking in the sights and sounds of town included souvenir shops, ice creams and the only bar.

Finally, we were picked up from the campsite and taken by boat to Kulusuk for our flight to Iceland.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sermilik Ice

We have entered Sermilik Fjord. As the wind changed direction the ice became more and more tricky. Eventually we landed on some rocks where we could camp. The wind rose with heavy gusts one of which took a tent into the sea! It took three of us to retrieve it!

Having visited the village of Tititiqelaq, known locally as Dididaa, we are now heading for the shelter of Ikasgtivaq Fjord.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Glaciers to the Sea

Over the last couple of days we have been on a mission to explore the carving faces of the Knud Rasmussen and Karala glaciers. Our camp was dramatically positioned on rocks between the face of Karala glacier and a smaller tributary. I have not slept in a more stunning location. Every now and then we woke to the thunderous boom and roar of house sized hunks of ice falling into the the fjord.

Having covered a long distance yesterday we are now resting in a community service house in the village in Kuummiut where we can also buy some extra supplies.

Greenlandic Settlements

Since leaving Tasiilaq we have paddled along the fjord network that lies to the north. The highlights so far have been spotting humpback whales, sunny settled weather and spectacular icebergs. The weather has even been warm enough for a short evening swim.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Tasiilaq Campsite

This is a slightly scruffy site located between the helipad and the rubbish tip. However, across the water towards the peaks of Angmagssalik island are amazing. We will stay here for one night. Tomorrow we will sort kit, pack our kayaks and head off.

Blog updates will be sporadic from now on as we do not know how much mobile Internet access we wil have along the way.


We have just arrived in a cold and blustery Kuluk.

Warm clothes have been pulled on as we wait for our boat transfer to Tasiilaq.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Meet The Team # 8 - Jules

Jules is Dave's wife.

Having recently retired as chair of Shetland Canoe Club, she still plays a key role regularly helping with paddling sessions.

Meet The Team # 7 Dave

Dave has also travelled from Shetland where he works as a coastguard.

Meet The Team # 6 - Martin

Martin has arrived in Iceland following a long journey from his home in Shetland.

He brought good news that the supply ship has arrived at Tasiilaq. It's like Christmas for the locals because this is the first fresh supplies since last October. This also means that my kayak has arrived.

Meet Team # 5 - John

John's birthday was yesterday and we celebrated at the house of Stephanie's friends Dora and Hurdor.

John normally spends his time trying to go fast keeping fit and training for races so he is looking forward to slowing it down a bit and enjoying the scenery.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Meet The Gang # 4 Jim

I have only just got back from the Woodmill Sea Symposium in Southampton. I now have this evening tomorrow evening to dry and pack my kit!

I am relieved to say that my split Mitchell Blades have arrived just in time with the new style connector. I just can't wait to get out there and get paddling.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Meet The Gang # 3 - Kirstine

Kirstine has been dashing around in the last couple of days buying a few last minute bits of kit and weighing up what food to take.

There are already 240 Clif Bars out there waiting for us as well as a kilo of cous cous. To add some flavour, Kirstine is packing some small curry packets and sachets of soup. There will be cuppa soups and mug shots for lunchtimes and plenty of custard for puddings.

On a cultural note, Kirstine has been reading about how Gino Watkins prepared for his expeditions to east Greenland in the early 1930s.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Meet the Gang #2 - Chris

Other members of the gang have recently returned from trips. Chris tells of a tall tail (or fin).

"Not long ago I was paddling in the Sound of Barra in the Hebrides. This is a photo of me, with basking shark."

"Here is another photo of the shark as it swam under my boat. I wonder what kind of animals we'll
see in Greenland?"

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Meet The Gang #1 - Stephanie

Sailing off La Gomera in Janurary
Stephanie just sent in a couple of photos from her recent travels...

"Am expecting rather different scenery to that encountered on my most recent trip out of San Francisco Bay, up the Marin coastline; no icebergs or polar bears spotted off California - only pelicans and this  WW2 battleship, the US Iowa under tow to LA en route to become a museum."

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Ice is Clearing

With less than a month to go before we arrive in Tasiilaq, the ice is begining to clear from the coast of East Greenland.

This is a link to Hendrik's web cam that overlooks the town and the bay beyond Tasiilaq harbour.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

'The Mists' in film

During the paddling trip to Knoydart, we did some filming. It was an excellent opportunity to try out cameras and to get to grips with how they work in cold weather.

Many thanks to the Peatbog Faeries for allowing me to use the music from their 'Croftwork' album. For more information about Peatbog Faeries, their music and forthcoming dates visit

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Paddling the mists of Knoydart

The Easter weekend brought most of the Greenland expedition team together to meet up for some paddling and camping. The journey from Manchester was hardly encouraging. We battled high winds and frequent showers of sleet until we found some improvement north of the Scottish border by teatime. Eventually we arrived at the beautifully situated Silversands Campsite just north of Arisaig where crystal skies gave way to a dazzling sunset.

The next morning we set off into a cold and murky morning. After stopping at Mallaig for a few last minute supplies we set about finding a legendary bunkhouse nestled deep in a sheltered inlet along the shores of Loch Nevis. It is a basic set up in an old chapel. There is coal fired range, basic lighting as well as hot and cold running water. The building retains its old charm whilst adorned with postcards from well-traveled past visitors. The proprietor is called Frank who now in his mid-eighties has been living there for more than 25 years. He plays accordion and tells stories and rude jokes but also accepts assistance in entertainment from his electric singing moose head.

Having spent the night at the bunkhouse, the Sandaig Islands made famous by Gavin Maxwell and his love of otters, would be next on our tour. The weather remained poor with mostly mist and drizzle and to cap it all, a cripplingly chilly headwind.

However, just as we arrived the wind dropped and the skies cleared.

Late afternoon sunshine drenched this idyllic and historic scene and we relaxed in the early evening sunshine.

Following a moonlit night, the mists and rain returned in the morning. We paddled south and made for Inverie for beer and hot food and music at The Old Forge. In the morning we struck camp early. We were fully equipped with sore heads and weary limbs in readiness for a hard paddle into a stiff headwind.

The stretch from Mallaig back to Silversands was especially tough into rough seas and squalls of force 4-6. Having landed safely, we found fish and chips plentiful scalding hot tea in a warm cafe.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Shipping Out - Part 2

Kirstine & I  took the kayak to the port of Immingham, packed some equipment inside along with an assortment of lovely snacks. It seemed to take ages to wrap it up in cardboard and plastic before putting labels on and signing it over to the shipping company.

By now the P&H Scorpio will be on its sea voyage to Greenland. It will take a while getting there as it will be taking a circuitous route on the high seas in a sea freight container.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Shipping Out

We are sending an extra kayak out to East Greenland to arrive in good time for the beginning of our adventure.

The great thing is that we can pack some extra bits of kit and a few goodies so that we don't have to carry them on the flights that will take us there in July.