We were able to get the ‘friend of a friend’ to take us to three fantastically unique locations: an isolated fjord within the ‘red bay’ (known as such because this location slaughters a large number of whales for meat each year), a sea water sample amidst colossal icebergs, and as close as we could get to the toe of the Jakobshaven Glacier from the Jakobshaven fjord. The whole sea sample expedition took place on a 21ft boat with a 10cm thick fiberglass hull that maneuvered around the enormous icebergs (frequently hitting ones that were human size or less..) at such great speeds that Emily and I frequently thought we had used up all of the fun/adventures people are allowed to have in one lifetime. We returned to the harbor with incredible samples and photos (see below!), and were unscathed except for the colds, chesty coughs and sinus infections that would plague us for many days to follow.
That evening after turning a dire situation upside down and finally collecting some samples we did what we have been craving to do ever since first arriving in Greenland – we rolled in the much fluffier version of dandelions gone to seed as a celebration. Later that night, when we were recovering from our cold and wet but exhilarating journey out to sea, we learned that a miracle had happened and that we had the go-ahead for the helicopter flight to Sarah Das’ (and colleagues’) field site first thing the next morning. Not having accounted for such a sudden departure and having spent the majority of the day collecting samples, we had to organize gear, process samples, pack, and clean like maniacs, getting minimal sleep (only 3hrs!), and find a taxi (another story in itself) in order to make our early morning helicopter ride out to the Das field site. But we couldn’t have been more excited.