I visited the settlement of Kullorsuaq for the English exams in 2010. Kulloq means thumb in West Greenlandic. The island has the Danish name Djævlens Tommelfinger which translates to “Devils Thumb”, which makes all kinds of sense. 🙂 Apparently an English whaling ship got stuck in the ice and the Devil’s Thumb was the last thing they saw. (Hmm, might need some references for that story.) The settlement of Kullorsuaq can be seen on the rocks, bottom right.
It’s June, and the ice is thinning every day. It’s not just the temperature, or the wind that affects the ice, tides and currents play a big role too.
I often talk about the ice foot in my stories. The ice foot is like a jagged wall of ice formed with the rising and falling of the tides. In practical terms, sometimes you climb onto the ice, down to it, and even just walk straight onto it depending upon the tide. Traffic over the ice foot makes a channel over and through the foot.
The current is often strong around a rocky point, and usually these are the first places to be ice-free. You can see the dark patch in the photo above. It’s easy to imagine that the sea just “stops” when the ice forms. But the opposite is true, of course.
More aerial photos later, but we’ll finish with a shot of the chopper. I love ’em almost as much as the Dash 7! If you’re wondering about the digger, it’s what they use in the settlement to bring the post and passengers’ baggage to the helicopter. Basically, you check in at the general store, and they drive your bag up to the landing pad.