Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Went to see the the eruption before finally arriving in Greenland

Thursday night I went and saw the eruption and the ash cloud. We basically drove into the cloud on the ring road and later watched the ash column and magma splashes and lightning in addition. As we stood there the cloud turned and the ash started to drizzle on us.

Friday there was no flight to Greenland either due to the ash cloud so I rented a car and drove out to Reykjanes where Gunnar and Jeroen were waiting for the Sanderlings (bird species) to arrive. We had time for a quick sightseeing before doing a bird count on the beaches. I had brought ingredients for a BBQ and we talked a lot of field work and Zackenberg in particular (where both Gunnar and Jeroen have been too - but not Gunnar's girl friend nor Bob, Jeroen's assistant from the Netherlands).

Saturday morning, I was surprised to see a scheduled flight to my destination in Northeast Greenland, Nerlerit Inaat at 9:45 as we were told to get information at 9:00. The night before it looked quite unlikely that we would be able to go at all, but conditions change fast and they seemed to have scheduled an extra flight early. We all left for the airport and started to check in only to get informed that our flight was "delayed" till 11:45 (normal scheduled departure). Oh well! After I did a bit of complaining, everyone got drinks and snacks in the cafeteria. There was rumuors of bad weather approaching the Greenlandic coast so we were somewhat worried that we might get cancelled again. That did not happen though and after a short stop in Nerleriit Inaat we were transferred by helicopter to Ittorqqortoormiit. Here I shared one of the guest housed with Rosanne from the Netherlands and her husband Eddie from Belgium in addition to Nua and Vittus from Tassilaq, East Greenland. Nua and Vittus are from the municipality's technical dept. on business. They were going to see the hot springs at the village of Kap Tobin by means of snow scooter and asked whether I would like to join them. So I did and we got a bonus trip to Kap Hope on the other side of town. Where we had a cup of coffee at one of the local hunters.
Sunday it has been snowing the whole day but it was rather warm. In the morning I went to Church and said hello to Ruth the Organ player. I met her in West Greenland in 2006 just before she came to settle here in town. After that I went to have coffee with Dorthe (one of the passengers arriving yesterday) and her husband Steen and the medical doctors house. Monday I tried to get hold of Martin to talk about arranging a dog sledge trip but I did not manage. Instead I met Uwe a german nature videographer doing a documentary on Greenland and his logistician Kim from Denmark. I had a long chat with Uwe about the filming conditions here. Also, I moved to Hannes house. She is working at the kindergarten but is out of town at the moment. I met her in Reykjavik airport Wednesday while she was going to Nuuk and I was still trying to go North and she said that I could borrow her house. It will only be for a few days as she is expected to come back on Wednesday. Also, will probably try to rent a house in Kap Tobin closer to the open water.