Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | February 1, 2012

Ice and more ice

Although the weather in Northern Europe is cold due to a high pressure zone above Russia we are still enjoying pleasantly cold weather in here as well. Normally, as soon as the weather turns cold in Denmark and Finland, we can expect milder temperatures in Greenland. We hope the current lucky situation lasts.

Our snow mobile is out of drift with a broken fly wheel but luckily skis and the dogs did not suffer from anything. Outi could ski to Qaqqaliaq and the dogs could pull the equipment and Mads. The children in the town thought it was hilarious to see a grown up man driving a tiny sledge pulled by only two dogs.

Mads and the smallest sledge in town. Photo: O. Tervo


The open water area outside Qaqqaliaq created by a constant current is shrinking and soon the hundreds of eider ducks Somateria mollissima will need to find another refuge. The ice at the edge of the cliffs was however rock solid and we had forgotten a tooq to make a whole in the ice.

Eider ducks in the lead. Photo: O. Tervo

We did not want to venture out on the ice foot either at the risk of getting a cold bath. A bag with a filled thermos as weight, suspended by the hydrophone cord proved to be heavy enough and after a bit of swinging and banging, Mads was able to make a hole in the ice while standing safely on the cliffs. The many pieces of ice and broken ice plates did mask the recordings quite considerably though and we were able to hear only faint bowhead whale singing. On the other hand our ears were spared from the engine noises from Qaqqaliaq harbour were hunters returning from the sea were parking their boats on top of the ice.

A lot of ice at Qaqqaliaq. Photo: O. Tervo

How to make a hole to the ice..