A gift on the homeward way – Prince Christian Sound reprised, Nanortalik, Greenland, then home along the Canadian coast (Aug. 17 and beyond)

Note of apology: More than a month of life has happened since my last post. It took an email from a friend that I didn’t know I had, waiting in my inbox yesterday, to nudge me back to Laurie’s Adventures. And just in the nick of time, as we have a small adventure planned this weekend. All that is written below was composed on the ship, just never posted. I promise one more post tomorrow to finish up, then I’m off Saturday morning to explore and camp on a new Maine lake with two of my favorite people, Megan and Jacob.

Thoughts of home loom larger every day and my energy for new places and experiences, for photography and blogging, is waning. This philosophical, attitudinal segue into returning home is a natural defense mechanism, I believe. The mundane details of life await…a car recall, a haircut, and the scurry of the first days of school.

The stunningly beautiful and intriguingly historical slice of the world that we have tasted over the last five weeks has saturated me with travel, for now, and brought home to me the simple joys of living in Maine. As the dreamy days of summer there race by without me, I am ready to return and snatch a bit of swimming and another lobster.

The exquisite view of Prince Christian Sound (on another blue and gold day, but with some fog) from our favorite lunch spot by the pool.

Prince Christian Sound stretches for 36 stunning miles. Except for a tiny weather station at its mouth and a small village of 130 people, near the center, it is a place of isolation. This time through, I saw the town and wondered which of the colorful cluster of buildings were the school, the church, and the general store. It was warmer this passage and I sat on a deck chair, soaking up the sun, and scanning the shore for wildlife or potential camp sites.

Our glimpse of Aappilattoq was poignant, knowing that for most of the year this place is inaccessible except by helicopter. Can you spot the huddled buildings?


Nanortalik from atop a huge glacial erratic at the outdoor folk museum.


This photo, the last that I took in Nanortalik, was one of my entries in the ship’s photography contest. I didn’t win, but had fun comparing notes with other photographers.

Yesterday, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, I took very few photos and we have just one more port (Halifax, Nova Scotia) tomorrow. My mother has been battling an upper respiratory infection and we have been slowing down our activities. Already plotting a return trip to the farthest tip of Newfoundland, I felt no urgency to visit each and every landmark.

The cliffside trail to the tower where Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901 will be here when we return. So, too, with the churches and colorful houses along Jelly Bean Row that we missed yesterday. Instead, we concentrated on The Rooms, St. John’s new (2005) museum complex perched high above the city. The World War I exhibit, in particular, pulled me in, with its personalized memorial to the incredible bravery and tragic experiences of the Newfoundland soldiers, particularly in the battle of the Somme. Go there if you can. The mechanisms of the museum exhibits are superb and the content germane and moving. We finished our day by trying cod tongues, which were infinitely superior as a novelty than they were in taste and texture. They were my culinary adventure for this cruise.

For those of you who have liked or commented or simply followed my journey, know that those touches of interest kept me writing, persevering through the trials of internet access. To those of you who will soon welcome us home or stop in for a visit, we eagerly anticipate seeing familiar faces and listening to the stories of your summers. For those further afield, in Mongolia or flip-flopping around on the AT or sunning in Croatia, may you travel safely and well until we are together once again. (Of course, all those folks are now safely home and have been in touch. What a summer we all had!)

Drop me in by helicopter sometime – Prince Christian Sound, Greenland (July 


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.

A fisherman in his power boat is dwarfed by the sheer scale of the landscape.

Crew members served hot pea soup out on the chilly deck.
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!