We woke up in front of the settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit with foggy skies and a glorious sunrise. Ittoqqortoormiit was first called Scoresbysund in 1925 when it was founded. It was named after a whaler, arctic explorer, scientist, and clergyman: William Scoresby Junior. Scoresby was arguably the most experienced and knowledgeable polar sailor of his age. After a wonderful breakfast, we took the Zodiacs to shore to explore the town.
We visited a small museum with photos of people of the settlement over the ages, clothing, and a small plaque to the U.S. Army and Air Force weather station that was presented in Greenland during World War II. We stopped in a quaint church where we were able to watch muskox fur (qiviut) spun into thread. At the tourist information center, we enjoyed samples of delicious muskox meat and had a chance to take home a souvenir from the gift shop. Afterwards, groups of guests chose to roam the town at will, with most gaining elevation for better views.
We visited a memorial to Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who lost his life in 1936 off the coast of Iceland. Previously, Charcot spent many years sailing around East Greenland. We observed a small bust of Ejnar Mikkelsen, the founder of the town. Towards the end of our visit, we saw a weather balloon fly up into the sky–the balloon is released twice every day. As we returned to the Zodiacs, we watched as a handler fed a group of Greenland working dogs.
In the afternoon, we headed north and were treated to a couple of lectures onboard. First, resident botanist and glaciologist Serguei spoke to us about Arctic landscapes. After a lovely teatime, National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins spoke on Base Camp Greenland, one of the most scenic places to adventure from in East Greenland.
It was another wonderful day in Greenland with more to come.