August 23/August 24.
Not much to do today. We just needed to fill up our water tank . They had a lot of fresh water on one dock but not much salt water to get there. Trying to approach the faucet, I hit the bottom several times. A tricky place. Lifting completely the center board helped and we finally docked. Let’s say that I didn’t appreciate at all using Breskell as a plough. Returning carefully to our previous spot, I gave the crew a day off. Some took advantage to walk in town, others went hiking in the mountains. A leisurely day for all to enjoy and relax in these peaceful surroundings. I just took care of a few items on my never-ending « to do » list.
I also took the opportunity to go fishing with Malik. We went with the dinghy to the harbor entrance, around the icebergs and close to the pass. We got one cod.
One small cod. Amazing how in some places we caught a lot of those fish when elsewhere, like today, we got almost nothing!
Back to the boat to have a change of clothes before wandering into this beautiful town. All the houses are painted in different vivid colors, blue, red, green , yellow… I enjoyed the special northern atmosphere of this place…
In front of many of these houses were chained Greenlandic dogs. Beautiful “ wolf-like” northern dogs. Disko island is one of the few place in Greenland where using dog sleds is possible all year around….Here, some mushers have between thirty to forty dogs at the same time.
Quite animated kennels when you walk around the place! I admit having a very soft spot for these animals. Under their wild looks and shape, their beautiful eyes, their unlimited energy and their wolf howling, they are really sweet. Not sweet like your “pop and mom” house spoiled temperamental fat white “toutou”. But sweet their own way. Wildly sweet. They have one master. When they recognize and accept you as the leader of the pack, you can develop a strong bond and a very special and intimate relationship with them. I simply love them! Before I even set one foot on the American soil, during my very first docking in the US coming from the Caribbean, the “local” hand-liner tying Breskell to the dock was… a wild-eyed Canadian from a far away unknown little town of northern Quebec. He was wondering aloud about what a French flagged boat coming from Brittany, with the yellow quarantine flag still on her spreaders, was doing with two beautiful Alaskan huskies onboard, and this on a southern state of the US! But this is another story…
In Disko bay, over a background of drifting icebergs, I tried to take pictures of some of these native dogs. While doing that, I just thought: “ my god this iceberg is going to break down soon.” Almost immediately, I heard a reverberating noise followed by a huge splash into the water. The iceberg was breaking right in front of my eyes. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to put my camera on “movie”.
I took the picture after the crash. Having also the “before” picture , I kept with me the photographic memories of one of these ice giants moving toward a slow but unavoidable disintegration.
Dogs, icebergs, painted houses, so much to enjoy. I kept wandering around from one place to another. In town today, it was also a very busy day. More than a thousand tourists were pouring out of a cruise-ship . The center of this small city was already crowded. As I was looking around, I noticed an old fellow who seemed to have breathing problems. Walking more slowly, I shadowed him, wanting to be sure he was doing fine. At one point, taking something out of his jacket, an object felt from his pocket. I let him know. As he was trying to pick it back, the poor fellow felt face first into a ditch. I jumped to help. He definitely had serious breathing problems. After a few minutes, I assisted him getting out of the ditch. We moved slowly together as the old-timer breathed heavily, needing time to recuperate after each move. Again, I asked if he needed help. His answer was clear: “no, I am fine. Thank you!” I went on but was still keeping an eye on him. I noticed with surprise that he was now following me! I slowed down, then stopped taking the pretext of making some pictures. He had time to overcome me. His turn to enquire where he should go to meet the cruise ship’s peoples? I proposed that we walked together until about one hundred yards away from where he planed to go. I had finally to part with him. Breskell sat now just on the opposite direction from his destination. I let him go. He seemed fine for now and was almost at home. Alone again on Breskell, I still had free time on my hand. What about taking the dinghy to try again my luck fishing? I returned later with nothing to show in my hands. Except for my hands themselves : almost completely frozen for playing too long with my fishing gears in the middle of the drifting icebergs.