Kayaking among icebergs

Iceberg Bay kayaking 7827 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 45 mm, f/10, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

Our third adventure of the day began after we arrived in Tasiusaq, Greenland and enjoyed a short break for a late lunch.  We then dressed up in full kayaking gear with boots, pants, jackets, lifejackets, skirts and gloves and walked a mile down the path to the bay where we paired up and learned the correct paddling technique for kayaking.  By now, the group was accustomed to my camera gear and was very accepting of it.  Our guide allowed me to bring some of it in the kayak and helped me get it situated safely.  Troy was kind enough to be my unfortunate partner.  🙂

Iceberg Bay kayaking 7752 August 19, 2018

Image: Kayaking among icebergs in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 58 mm, f/13, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We started off in a section of the bay where there were no icebergs but had calm waters.  As soon as everyone was in the water, we passed through a small corridor into the main part of Iceberg Bay!  As you can see in the image above, the icebergs were huge!  We dealt with strong winds for the first part of the experience and I wasn’t able to take my camera out much, except for 1 or 2 shots.  Each time I tried pulling it out of the dry bags (multiple ones due to my fear of losing my camera into the water or getting it wet), the winds were so strong that I needed to help paddle us away from an iceberg.  It continually blew us close to the them, which pleased me, but it was too dangerous for us to remain there.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 7866 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/10, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As if on cue, we were 15-25 ft away from one iceberg and part of it broke off and created a small wave right next to us.  Unfortunately I didn’t capture a shot of it as we were already trying to move away to a safer area.  We paddled far down one side of Iceberg Bay against the winds and took a rest along one of the rock faces before venturing out into the center of the bay.  We then headed back towards all the large icebergs shown below with the wind at our backs.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 7792 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 34 mm, f/13, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As we got closer to some of the large icebergs, the winds died down slightly and I was able to get a few shots of them up close.  The clouds and stormy skies were a great background against the blue ice.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 7992 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 26 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

I even captured a few shots with some of our fellow kayakers to show perspective and give a sense of the enormity of these icebergs.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8054 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/13, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

As we maneuvered around the icebergs (with poor Troy doing most of the paddling), we were able to get fairly close to them since the winds were calmer and it was easier to steer the kayak.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8094 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 52 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We saw just a few birds perched on the icebergs and I managed to capture my one bird photo of the trip in the image below with the gull on the iceberg on the left.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8014 square August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 70 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

I was captivated by the purity and cleanliness of the ice and glacial water.  It was mesmerizing and very inviting.  I enjoyed capturing images of all the shapes, lines and curves in such a beautiful and temporary structure.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8016 August 19, 2018

Image: Icebergs while kayaking in Iceberg Bay, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 70 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec, ISO 1000, hand-held.

After 2.5 hours on the water, we had to head into the shore, much to Troy’s and my dismay.  We could have stayed out there playing for hours.  I was, and still am, forever grateful to Troy for all his help paddling.  I could not have gotten any of the above shots without his help.

My camera settings were not the best as I could have used a much faster shutter speed than 1/125 second to get sharper images, but I am happy under the circumstances.  It was very chaotic trying to get the camera out of the dry bags quickly, not dropping the camera in the water, avoiding splashing water on the camera and trying to get the correct exposure knowing that I had to put the camera away in a matter of seconds or less.  Had it not been so windy, it would have been much easier.

On our walk back to the house, I saw that the sunset was potentially going to be spectacular.  When we got there, I grabbed my tripod and took off running with my camera and me still in full kayaking gear back out to the overlook of the bay.  I set up my camera and tripod as quickly as possible.  This was the first shot I got.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8159 August 19, 2018

Image: Iceberg Bay at sunset, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 62 mm, f/16, 1/25 sec, ISO 100, on tripod.

As I calmed down and kept shooting, the sun dipped lower behind the mountains and the sky began to light up, allowing me to capture this scene.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8167 August 19, 2018

Image: Iceberg Bay at sunset, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 28 mm, f/22, 1/6 sec, ISO 100, on tripod.

I stayed out for awhile to watch the clouds change colors all around me.  The light began to reflect onto Iceberg Bay where we were just kayaking and gave me one final memorable shot.

Iceberg Bay kayaking 8206 August 19, 2018

Image: Iceberg Bay at sunset, Tasiusaq, Greenland.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/16, 1/8 sec, ISO 100, on tripod.

To see these images individually and more that were not included here, please visit my gallery here: Amy’s Impressions

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

18 thoughts on “Kayaking among icebergs”

    1. Aww. Thanks Chris! I know!!! I still tell that story to so many people. Lol. Now I have much better gear and can’t wait to go shoot Watson Lake with you again this winter! 🙂

      Like

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