Greenland – West

West Greenland

While the east could be said to be somewhat challenging for a glass fibre composite boat, the west of Greenland is an entirely different matter. Rounding Southern Greenland or making passage from Newfoundland needs to be done with care as even in Summer this latitude is directly in the path of Atlantic lows. Once above Nunarsuit Is. at 60N for the most part conditions improve although we were caught in a 50kt + storm in the same area last year. A well-found boat is both necessary on this coast and to transit the North Atlantic at any time. Inshore is mostly ice free, except around the exit of fjords fed by glaciers. Unlike the east, this coast is populated with the occasional small permanent or Summer settlement. Yachts with shallow draft or a lifting keel can motor for the 200 miles of predominantly sheltered inshore passage through the outer islands to Nuuk. Seamanship still has to be of a high order, although the Danish Hydrographer’s charts appear modern, GPS co-ordinates are unreliable, reefs are charted out of position or are simply not on the chart. It’s not the comfortable cruising of Maine, Scotland or Norway, but it is rewarding. The scenery and fauna are even more spectacular. We arrived from St Anthony, Newfoundland in our 30’ sloop Santana, confident in our ability to adjust our plan day by day. Use the RCCPF as a source of information for good pre-planning.

Text and image source: owenclarke