GOOSE BAY TO NARSARSUAQ (Nar.sar.sue.ock)
We were told that this may very well be the most challenging leg of the trip. Clear Greenland weather can change to fog in a heartbeat and the crosswind on the landing runway can be quite treacherous. Fortunately, neither was a problem this day.
Goose Bay was overcast, misty and bone chilling cold at 9:00 AM, when we performed the preflight and climbed aboard N3199J. We couldn't wait to get the engines running and the heater turned on. However, shortly after departure, we outran the clouds and it was sunny all the way to Narsarsuaq. What a nice surprise!
This was the first leg requiring the High Frequency radio communication equipment and auxiliary fuel tanks which had been installed especially for the Around the World trip. Both items worked as advertised, much to our relief.
About 100 miles out, Sherry noticed white mountain peaks on the horizon. Greenland was in sight. The closer we came, the better it looked. Steep mountain peaks covered in snow with a mixture of rock and green, grassy meadows below. Breathtaking scenery!
The runway is located 45 miles up a long but fairly wide fjord. There were icebergs everywhere. The airport controller told us there was no one else in the fjord so we just enjoyed the spectacular view. We were also told that the airport was closed on Sunday so we prepared to spend an extra day in Narsarsuaq.
On Saturday, we took a boat trip across the fjord to Quassiarsuk, settled by Erik the Red over 1000 years ago. The population has been growing steadily ever since and is now up to 120. Still not much traffic on the roads, however. The historical department has reconstructed Erik's former home as well as a small church which was attended by Leif Eriksson and his wife.
The popular belief is that Erik the Red did a stellar PR job when portraying Greenland. However, it is much greener than we had envisioned and, considering some of the northern European locations, Greenland competes quite well. The residents absolutely love living here--but we are not quite ready to become one of them. Tomorrow is on to Iceland...
Ikiinngutinnersumik inuulluaqqusillunga (Best regards in Greenlandic).