Tasiilaq at dawn, with the boat moored keyside
So the day before yesterday we landed in a small town on the east coast of Greenland called Tasiilaq in Angmagssalik District; an Inuit town (N.B., don’t call them Eskimos, it means “meat-eater” apparently – not cool). A colourful group of people live here with a variety of interests: the East Greenland football championship final was played here today, a few hunters still live here (with others passing through when the seasons change and more seals arrive), and there’s even a small ex-pat community, comprised mainly of Danes. One of whom runs a small museum that gives a great introduction to the local people and their culture. The Inuits are an honest, friendly and welcoming people, but as it was pay day when we arrived – plus the fact the football finals were upon us and it was a Friday – we also got to see them indulge in what all people from cold nations do well: drink.
There’s only one small bar/disco in the town, which boasts about 1,800 people (swelled to 1,900 because of the football tournament, which involves all of the teams from eastern Greenland and takes the place of a standard league – travelling to and from for league games would be too much work with all the towns so far apart), and after a few days of sailing the boys were well up for cutting loose. We weren’t the only drunk ones (not me, I’m still sober and tried to behave) but things did start to get a little messy around closing time, especially when Ketil decided to take an alternative route home jumping off a wall and climbing over some rocks, injuring his ankle – silly. But perhaps it was even sillier when I – sober, you understand – chased after him and injured my own ankle. ＃FAIL.
But in hindsight the highlight may have been earlier, when Ketil met a young German lady called Anni, and discovering that young Anni was a film director decided to invite her along to join us and show us everything we were doing wrong with our amateur documentary filming. Amazingly, she agreed and turned up at the boat the next morning ready to set sail for a day with five random guys she met in a bar the night before.
Yep. Lovely girl, stupid choice.
Not because sailing with us isn’t safe. We’re all charming young men who behave impeccably while she’s onboard. Folly instead because now she’s here with us, stranded, surrounded by ice in a cold Greenlandic fjord with no immediate way out – and a flight back to Germany booked for the end of the week that she is by no means guaranteed to catch.
Now we’ve all made silly decisions when drunk. But Anni, we salute you for making one of the silliest we could ever have imagined.