Prince Christian Sound, which cuts through the southern tip of Greenland, lies packed with ice for much of the year. Only from July through September is there the hope, if the weather cooperates, of passing through. For us, the weather cooperated magnificently, blessing us with what veterans were calling the best of days.
Perhaps the encouraging weather was what made the tents so compelling, so memorable. The two tiny yellow-orange bumps hugged a pile of rock, on a bit of gravel beach, beside a glacier. Without the binoculars I would have missed them. Like the lone fisherman who had sped by earlier in his small boat, they were dwarfed by the magnitude of the landscape. Those tents, I thought, is where I would most like to be. Not cruising by, but immersed, exposed, integrated into the landscape.
Words, like photographs, fail to capture the scale and austerity, the stark beauty that is Greenland. Waterfalls drop a thousand feet or more into the sound. Humpback whales blow, and sculpted icebergs, calved from one of the six glaciers, come in fantastic shapes and shades of white and blue. Other than the tents and some tiny patches of pink flowers, there was no sign of life on land, although Greenland does have musk ox, lemmings, and arctic fox. Here there is just one small community that thrives on seal hunting and a little tourism, coming and going only by helicopter in the icebound months. I loved it!