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Part 14: Sunset in Greenland
Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Well today was our first day in Greenland, and it was fantastic! After almost 72 hours sailing and many bouts of some serious seasickness, we were all anxious to get off the ship. Diving, snorkeling, and zodiac cruising provided everyone with a much-needed change of scenery, and this new location certainly did not disappoint. Huge icebergs, picturesque mountains, and lush gardens of marine macroalgae made up the scenery around us, and despite hosting the coldest water temperatures we’ve encountered, we couldn’t get enough.
The extremely cold water was a bit unexpected by the divers. At the surface, the water temp was about 36 degrees F (3 degrees C) and after they descended through a thermocline at a depth of about 45 feet (15 m), the temp suddenly dropped below freezing to 30 degrees F (-1 degree C). This quick change is quite a shock to our bodies and can be uncomfortable for a minute or two, but it’s well worth the effort. On the ascent, there were lion’s mane jellies to entertain us in the shallows, and the golden rays of a low afternoon sun shone through them to compliment their color and form. We almost forgot we were swimming in water that if it were fresh would have been frozen solid.
And then there was the sunset. The colors the sky gave us tonight were absolutely spectacular. Pink, peach, and purple clouds streaked across the backdrop of the sky with snow-accented mountain peaks and glowing icebergs in the foreground. It seemed as if this sunset was trying to make up for the last few days of grey and fog, and it succeeded with flying colors. This was only our first evening in Greenland, and we’re already counting the hours until the next one! This was one of those shared experiences that brought us all together and that we’ll talk about fondly for years to come.