What to Expect
This is more than just a "holiday" - this is a trip of a lifetime in a "World Class" kayaking venue.
East Greenland is special - its life in the Raw..
There are no board walks to designated view points or UNESCO World Heritage Sights - which inevitably attract lots of tourists into the area.
Visitor numbers are comparatively few - as you will see on your flight they are mainly mountaineers, hikers and your fellow paddlers.
Local people rely on fishing and subsistence hunting to survive.
Guaranteed to stimulate your senses.
Being in almost constant daylight is a pretty unique experience for most people, as is kayaking in sea ice and amongst huge icebergs, all with the ever present back drop of calving glaciers, Alpine mountains and the Greenland ice cap.
This area has a unique culture and history coupled with an amazing and fragile arctic environment. In the 1930’s when Gino Watkins was exploring this area, many local people were still living in traditional turf houses, isolated and spread out along the coast.
We will explore many of these.
The main settlement of Tasiilaq is still pretty basic. Life for the local Greenlandic people is hard. There are limited opportunities for paid work and climate change is effecting the flow of the seasons and the pattern of hunting .
Conditions here tend to be a little more extreme than the south and west coasts as the main ocean drift bringing polar pack ice, travels south down the east coast, often closing down sea access to the settlements of Ittoqqortoormiit and Tasiilaq for up to 6 months a year during the winter.
Depending on summer ice conditions we have the option to start and finish our trip from any of the 5 smaller communities in this area.
Kuummiut, Tiniteqilaaq, Sermiligaq, Kulusuk or Isortoq.
This gives us a lot of flexibility to make the most of our precious time. Wherever we go it's always amazing and I never tire of it.
We are wild camping from the start and aim to paddle everyday. The campsites just get more and more spectacular as the trip goes on. Average mileage is about 25 km a day, so there is plenty of time to explore ancient settlements, hunt camps and take lots of photos. This is a photographers paradise.
While here, the opportunity of climbing a hill should also not be missed.
It's not a head down go go go type trip - there is way too much to see.
As with any kayaking trip, the pace and agenda is largely set by external factors - in this case its ice conditions and the weather.
There are less than 3000 people living in this area, which is larger than the UK.
Once on trip we are pretty much away from it all.
I've spent 20 years exploring here and now know the area better than many of the locals, so we will have the opportunity to explore remote, wild places, few folk ever venture into.
The wild life is amazing; we regularly encounter whales (often daily) and over the years have seen Humpback, Finn, Minke and Narwhal.
Although conditions are generally calm and settled you must be able to cope should things change, we are in the arctic after all and conditions are at times unpredictable.
I would expect you to have done some of your own extended trips and be able to cope with F 4-5 winds. Know how to adjust and pack your kayak for an expedition and be able to paddle and handle a fully loaded boat.
I would also expect you to have experience of deep water rescues and have some basic knowledge of towing.
Specific expedition skills and top tips, will be covered in detail during the adventure.
For those requiring it, pre-expedition training can be arranged.
I appreciate many folk don't initially consider joining a professionally lead expedition.
However, if this is your first trip to the Arctic or East Coast of Greenland, then this is by far the best option for your initial adventure.
It gives you the chance to learn and further develop skills needed to deal with some unique conditions and gives time to acclimatise to the scale of things.
You have access to some excellent equipment and benefit from my considerable experience and local knowledge gained over 20 years of running expeditions in this area.
For those with the required background experience / interest - ISKGA and BC Guide Modules can be undertaken during the expedition.