Today is our final day in Greenland before starting the long journey home, via Copenhagen, tomorrow morning. We wanted to make the most of it, so we had a big excursion planned for today: a boat trip to the Eqi Glacier. The trip was booked with the same company we did the icefjord cruise with last night, so just before 9am this morning we made our way down to their offices again and were transported back to the harbour.
The boat we travelled in was a bit bigger than the one we went on yesterday and it was very full. The layout wasn't ideal as the seats were five across each side of an aisle. The only seats we could find were in the middle of a row, so there was lots of waiting for people to stand up and/or being asked to stand up ourselves as the day went on.
Never mind, we were soon pulling out of Ilulissat's harbour on another adventure
This time we were travelling north.
The Eqi Glacier, or Eqip Sermia as it is called in Greenlandic, is situated about 80 km to the north of Ilulissat.
As with almost everywhere in Greenland, the only way to get there is by sea.
It soon became clear as we sailed north that the icebergs in the sea around here are much smaller than the big ones that get stuck in the icefjord around Ilulissat.
They were still very pretty though.
And we had some lovely views of the mountainous coast too.
The icebergs weren't the most exciting thing we saw today though!
An hour or so into the journey the boat came to a stop so that we could try to catch a glimpse of this humpback whale.
It was really hard to spot the whale coming up on time to get a photo, but I managed to get a few tail shots
Once the whale had moved on, we were back on our way.
We passed a few icebergs where we could clearly see how much bigger the bit under the water was compared to the bit on top.
I also learned that the reason some of the icebergs sometimes look a bit dirty is because the glacier contained volcanic ash, potentially from thousands of years ago.
Lots of the mountains we sailed past were still covered in snow.
Apparently that's unusual for this time of year and it's been a cold spring.
I suspect the cold spring is the reason we've been really lucky and not encountered any mosquitos so far on this trip
After a couple of hours the boat began to turn a corner and we knew we were starting to get closer to the glacier.
We passed a big waterfall coming down the side of the mountains and into the sea.
A little further on we also passed a smaller waterfall, which was still partially frozen.
And then the glacier appeared on the horizon
Seeing it in the distance was tantalising but it still took the boat a lot time to reach it.
The closer we got, the slower the boat had to go because the sea was full of tiny bits of ice.
It was a really incredible experience to sail through it.
Just look at it!
It felt like we were sailing through a glacier soup
Everyone was up on deck, excited to get the best shots of the glacier.
And before long, we had them
The boat pulled up alongside the glacier and paused for an hour or so.
That gave us plenty of time to admire the views...
...take some photos...
...and investigate the lunch provided (which turned out not to be great, but we'd brought some provisions of our own so it didn't matter!)
It was so exciting to see such a big glacier and definitely worth the trip, even though it was a long one.
After lunch the boat departed and made the long journey back to Ilulissat.
It had been a day that involved a lot of sitting down, so we walked back up from the harbour to our hotel rather than waiting for a minibus transfer.
Today has been yet another exciting day in Greenland and I'm so glad we (eventually!!!) made it here. There's no experience that quite compares to this