Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nanortalik Island, Greenland

I could have just waited for the tide, but I seem to be the only man in Greenland in a hurry. So I unpacked the cases, the bags, the backpack, the gas can and the outboard. Dragged the boat across the seaweed covered rocks, then packed everything right back in.

And then I left.

And promptly got lost. Not lost precisely, just turned completely around, staring at the gps screen and it somehow not matching what i saw with my own two eyes. It said to go left. But there was an island in the way. So I drove in circles for a while. then eventually circumnavigated the island the entire wrong way, spending an hour and bouncing along a particularly exposed piece of Atlantic coastline, to reach a point roughly two nautical miles from my starting point.

I kept telling myself that I was just looking for a nice perspective to shoot the town from.

But I found flat water in the fjord west of Nanortalik Island, and chugged right along, admiring the windswept landscape, more rounded and worn than the serrated peaks further south. One bright patch of color in the endless coastline of dark green caught my eye, a small field inexplicably packed with yellow wildflowers. I took her to shore, hopped out and wandered around long enough to make some frames, then entertained myself shooting black and white of the eroded rocks along the shore. It got me thinking about what Ansel Adams would have done with this place. Something even bigger than his range of light, and far less familiar.

I moved north up the fjord, but grew bored and cramped sitting hunched in the back of the boat. So I stood and stretched, and then found a perfectly comfortable spot for myself sitting on top of the equipment cases. With just the right angle on the tiller, I could hold a straight line course for miles, sitting there taking in the scene, legs propped up on the sides, utterly unprotected should anything go wrong and I get tossed over.

But the view was certainly nice.

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