As an avid sea kayaker, Greenland has been a paddling dream destination of mine for several years. And as an outdoor photographer, I’m always seeking out giant open landscapes in beautiful light. Hours of Greenland’s low-angle arctic light is hard to beat.
My big Greenland kayaking dreams came true this summer with a 10 day paddling adventure to the Ammassalik area of East Greenland. Our group of nine European and American kayakers paddled 60 miles around the northern half of Ammassalik Island, starting in the settlement of Kusuluk and ending with a hike across Ammassalik Island to the town of Tasiilaq.
A fun group and perfect weather made it easy to enjoy the arctic landscape, icebergs, whales and vertical mountain scenery.
Settlement of Kulusuk
A few colorful Danish-style houses in the settlement of Kulusuk overlook Torsuut Tunoq sound. Kulusuk provides East Greenland’s primary airport to the rest of the world, with up to two flights per day from Iceland. We packed our boats and immediately headed off to our first camp on the side of Ammassalik Fjord, where a feeding mink whale entertained us just off-shore.
Paddling on Ikaasatsivaq Fjord
Our group of 9 paddlers in 5 kayaks (I was in the only single boat) paddled through vertical mountain scenery alongside Ikaasatsivaq Fjord. Loaded down with camping gear and food, we paddled an average of 20 km (12.4 miles) each day. I carried my SLR camera on deck in a Ortlieb dry bag for quick access.
Here I am, enjoying an un-named glacial-fed river and mountain scenery on Ammassalik Island near our camp on Sammileq Fjord. The glaciated mountain Qimmeertaajaliip Qaqqartivaa rises 974 meters in the distance.