For three weeks, nature has been good at bringing discoveries of small bays and wild fjords, whales, glaciers and explosive icebergs. Nature is also generous to treat our crew with plenty of black crowberries (coulis or fresh by handfuls), northern bilberries, mushrooms (delicious when fried), mussels, sea urchins and cod! Aurore and Leonie learned about rock climbing, using ropes on pretty long and steep cliffs. "I love climbing, de-climbing and top-roping!".
Aboard the Soleal, brand new liner from La Compagnie du Ponant, we meet again with Stephane Niveau, the expedition leader (also director of Paul-Emile Victor center in Premanon), and with captain Patrick Marchesseau (also captain of Planet Solar, world tour with solar energy), requesting us a lecture for their 200 passengers. Our friends Babeth and Laurent, and their two daughters Ondine and Lison, on holidays on board Vagabond, join us to enjoy the little swimming pool on board the cruise ship, a good meal and a great time with our hosts! All this is happening at anchor in front the Eqip glacier, where we can find the French polar expeditions base camp (1948-1953).
In Ilulisaat harbour, we share an evening with Atka's crew (former Periple), and with Gildas Flahault, who has been tingling our spine for long with his brushes. The aluminum boat was bought by Ben (François Bernard, polar guide), who visited us last winter.
Then Nanuq came along Vagabond. The project of his captain, Peter Gallinelli, is to winter without fossil energy (Passive Igloo). Professor at HEPIA (Engineering School in Geneva), he had organized a meeting "Energy and Far North" with Eric. Reunion and warm meeting with his family crew en route to northern Greenland.
Chance also allows us, in Ilulisaat, to meet again with:
- Frank Bruno and his team of four young trainee trappers,
- Mike Beedel, guide and photographer who asked our help to rescue equipment last April,
- David Reid, who had camped near Vagabond with his bike in winter on the ice...
Happy moments in the most visited town in Greenland!
This is when the Blue Soul's team, filmmakers and freedivers, boards Vagabond. At once in the water, despite the cold, they enjoy the surroundings of icebergs, touching various type of ice, and getting close to whales. On August 23rd, in front of Ilimanaq, Leonie is going snorkeling for the first time, discovering starfish and sea urchins: "It's amazing, the bottom of the sea!".
France, Leonie and Aurore take off from Aasiaat (Greenland), the next day, to be on time for the start of the new school year in France.