After almost two months in the High Arctic, arriving in Nuuk felt almost like coming home. As on Aventura’s two previous visits, we were welcomed warmly on arrival by the harbormaster Johannes Lindemans.
This time I had come prepared and presented Johannes with a dedicated copy of my atlas.
As there was no free space anywhere in the small boat harbour, we had to tie up alongside a boat flying the Russian flag. The crew came out to take our lines, and the captain called across: “So nice to see you again, Jimmy, last time we met at the lecture you gave at the Russian Geographical Society in St Petersburg.”
Another copy of the atlas was presented to Daniel Gavrilov, who told me that his current voyage around the Arctic had been inspired by what I said on that memorable evening.
Seeing many young people in the audience, among them several Navy cadets in their uniforms, I referred to my own growing under a communist dictatorship and urged them to make the best of the freedom their parents could not even dream about, but try to do something meaningful with their lives.
Although Aventura had just completed a long and occasionally arduous 5,000 miles passage from Dutch Harbor, we arrived in Nuuk with no list of jobs to be done, no serious breakages and all systems functioning. We did have a few matters to deal with along the way, but in every case I had the necessary spares and could deal with each matter as it happened. Self-sufficiency is of utmost importance in the Arctic and in that respect Aventura had passed the test in exemplary fashion.
Having loaded up with fuel for the long passage to the Canaries, I took a taxi into town to buy fresh provisions for the forthcoming voyage. When we arrived at the supermarket, I tried to pay with my credit card as I have had no chance to get any cash.
“Sorry, the driver said, “Card not work, machine kaput. Only money.”
“But I have no money” I replied.
“No problem” he said, and zeroed the counter…
This gesture most definitely did not feel like home as I hate to think of the number of arguments I had with a London cabbie trying to cheat me because of my “foreign” accent.
Less than 48 hours after our arrival, Dunbar and I were sailing again, bound for the spectacular Prince Christian Sound at the very southern tip of Greenland.
Our voyage is not over yet, and the cameras are waiting.