Photo trip

  • 0940 Baleine Ilulissat©EB
  • 1518 Retour a bord de Vagabond en annexe©Marc Querol
  • 1657 Stage photo avec Christian Morel©EB
  • 0941 Amarres a terre Uiffaap Qeqertanngui©EB

In the crowded port of Ilulissat, Vagabond finds refuge next to La Louise and it's a pleasure to see her captain again, Thierry Dubois.

In a few hours time, we move from science to photography: three people from Grenoble, Ludivine, Marc and Christian, are joining Christian Morel, the organiser of this photo trip, as well as Jessica coming from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon with Amaury, her 8-year-old son, who is as sharp as he was perceptive and attentive!

Of course, the starting site sets a high level: the whales are adding to the magic of the imposing ice front. However, as the idea is to head back down to Nuuk, we have to leave this scenery behind to find the islets and villages scattered along the coast.

The weather is not idyllic. We'll have to adjust our speed and stopovers according to the wind gusts, to appreciate the shades of grey and to capture the best moments of light. At night, however, we are treated to a magnificent full moon, known as the blue moon (in fact red), and a few northern lights. Sailing at night is necessary to cover the distance in time. We are doing 2 people shifts which makes some great moments of sharing and gives photographers the opportunity to discover this special atmosphere.

A natural stopover sheltered from the swell, in a mini pass, then a stopover between three islets, including the village of Itilleq, again to shelter from the headwind... Vagabond's anchor has the courtesy to slip only once everyone is back on board, after visiting the village and picking up mussels. On the thick seaweed that seems to cover the seabed, anchoring properly is not easy. A young Greenlandic fisherman tries to help us, then offers us an Arctic char of his catch. The next day he gives us seven more and tells us about his caribou hunts! Eric was even offered coffee and fresh caribou the day before at someone's place. Memories are coming back for some of the locals, who recall Vagabond stopping off at their place 9 years earlier with Léonie and Aurore, they were very young!

Still running between two gales, looking for new shelters on our way, we end up in a very high and narrow fjord: here, with two mooring ropes to shore, one on each side, in addition to the anchor, we are fine with the 40 knots of wind (50 knots outside the fjord) and the heavy rain.

To make sure our friends can catch their planes in Nuuk, we have to set off again for a night's watch... which is more hazardous than ever: trying to follow the single sounding line, which passes between a multitude of rocks, in a swelly and windy night. But above all, there's this really tight passage further south. We reach it at pitch dark, the mainsail still pinned to the mast with the wind astern. The swell is channeled by the islets, but the current is strong and the tide high. Despite our vigilance, with two people outside with head lamps to see better, Vagabond hits the entrance to the passage. Nothing serious, thanks the layer of kelp. But the bow is deflected and we almost climb onto the rocky coast. - Full astern! Then - full speed ahead! - but another rock appears in the light! In the end, it is sideway and the stern first, carried by the current and the wind, that we cross the passage. Adrenalin guaranteed.

As if to comfort us, we get the most beautiful morning in the world in the Maniitsoq Alps. We enjoy photos, lights and rest along the inland canals, before our arrival in the capital.

The photos and memories will remain with us forever.