Farewell to Greenland

Qoroq Glacier 9083 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

After the hike through Flower Valley and the climb up the mountain to Kiattut Glacier viewpoint, we boarded the zodiac for our final excursion.  Our guide Ester said she had to pick up some ice in Qoroq an hour away, and despite being exhausted from the day’s activities, we were all excited to go visit another village of Greenland.  We loved spending more time in the zodiac weaving in and out of icebergs.  We didn’t really think through what she meant by “picking up ice.”  We relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  Soon we came up to the end of a fjord and realized something wasn’t quite right.  I grabbed my camera and started shooting pictures of what we were navigating through.  In the distance, we saw another glacier!

Qoroq Glacier 8939 August 20, 2018

Image: Qoroq Glacier in Qoroq fjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We soon learned that Qoroq was the name of the fjord and of the glacier we were seeing.  It was one of the more active glaciers in the calving process of giving off icebergs.  Between the camera and my iPhone, I was trying to get both still images and video.  If you click on the video below, you can see us coming up to an iceberg!

We soon learned what Ester meant by “picking up ice!”  We watched as she used the pickaxe to break off chunks of ice and fill up metal cups.  She passed them out to each person so we could have our own personal iceberg cup.

Qoroq Glacier iphone 6140 August 20, 2018

Image: Our guide, Ester, chipping away at an iceberg, Greenland. iPhone 7 Plus, hand-held.

Then the real celebration began as Ester thanked us all and brought out the wine (and Coca-cola for the underage)!

Qoroq Glacier iphone 6147 August 20, 2018

Image: Our guide, Ester, sharing wine with us, Greenland. iPhone 7 Plus, hand-held.

I, of course, celebrated with my camera and was happy to keep shooting the scenery around us.  Here is the view opposite of the glacier from where we came.

Qoroq Glacier 9047 August 20, 2018

Image: Qoroq fjord in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 32 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

I also wanted to zoom in to get a good look at the icebergs up close.  We bumped into this one below so I enjoyed shooting a couple images of it.

Qoroq Glacier 9021 August 20, 2018

Image: Iceberg in Qoroq fjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 27 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we left the glacier and headed back to Qassiarsuk, our zodiac driver further treated us by going slowly around some of the huge blue icebergs.

Qoroq Glacier 9061 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 35 mm, f/16, 1/80, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we navigated through some of them, I was able to photograph the icebergs with  various backgrounds and angles.

Qoroq Glacier 9055 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/80, ISO 1600, hand-held.

At one point, we came across a huge iceberg with a cave-like cavity in it.  I only captured it on video, which you can view by clicking below:

We then came across the most beautiful, almost transparent, blue iceberg that I saw on the trip.  It seemed to sparkle in the light.  I was able to capture some of the surrounding mountains to contrast against the texture and color of the iceberg.

Qoroq Glacier 9120 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 2000, hand-held.

As we floated by it, I took some broadside shots to isolate it with the sky and water.

Qoroq Glacier 9110 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 66 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we finished up the tour and headed back to our lodging in Qassiarsuk, we said one final goodbye to the area and enjoyed the view.

Qoroq Glacier 9080 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

We were very pleased with this outfitter and their efforts to make up the two days we lost due to the flight cancellations.  They were very conscious of the environment and ensured that we did not leave a trace and had as minimal impact on the land as possible. The owner, Ramón Hernando de Larramendi, is a famous Spanish explorer who came up with the Wind Sled as a means to travel across polar environments.  I mentioned to him the possibility of working with me to put together a photography-based tour of some of the locations we visited (without the strenuous marathon running or mountain climbing), and he was very interested.  If you are interested in this for August/September 2019, please send me an email at amy_novotny@yahoo.com.

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.

10 thoughts on “Farewell to Greenland”

  1. It’s as if you saved the very best for last. That incredible blue ice is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures. Your talent is beyond belief

    Liked by 1 person

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