Saturday, July 16, 2022
With all the time changes and the long days, my internal clock is all messed up. We were playing some slots in the Casino, and I looked at my watch and it was almost 8:00. We had not eaten dinner. We decided to go to the Lido again. I had the Taiwanese pork and lamb with noodles. They gave me too much, so Chuck had to help me finish it.
After dinner, it was time for the show. Cantare was performing again. Tonight’s show was “All In” and it featured songs by various musical groups – Beatles, Rolling Stones, Four Tops, etc. I enjoyed it but I could feel my eyes getting heavy. I knew I would be calling it a night. Chuck decided he was ready to sleep also.
Ever since we left Qaqortok, we had been sailing in dense fog. The ship’s foghorn was sounding every few minutes. I assumed it would be going off all night. I was glad I brought ear plugs. When we got back to the room, we had one piece of good news but two pieces of bad news.
The good news – Prins Christian Sund (Prince Christian Sound) exit point had not clogged up with ice so we could do the scenic sailing through it instead of having to go out to sea around Greenland. There had been hints from the Cruise Director throughout the day that we might not be able to make it.
The bad news – (1) we have to set our clocks forward one more hour. OMG. My internal clock is going to take another hit. (2) we have had an uptick in COVID cases among passengers and crew, so masks are now mandatory inside and also outside if you are in a big crowd. Until now, masks have been optional. Know there are going to be some very unhappy people. Oh well. You sign a contract when you board saying that you will follow the Captain’s orders.
I was correct. The fog horn sounded all night long. I was so happy for my earplugs. I don’t know how Chuck slept through it. Up at 6:00 again and by the time we were finished with our Lido breakfast, we had entered the first channel of Prins Christian Sund. It was about 35 degrees when we went outside. Would only rise to 43. The clouds covered the tops of most of the mountains on both sides of the Sund. Blue skies would peak through every now and then.
During the transit, the bow was open to anyone who wanted to go out there. We spent about 30 minutes there. We also spent time on the Sea View deck enjoying their coffee specials. Chuck had coffee and Jameson and I had hot chocolate and Bailey’s. The crew would also come around with small cups of Dutch pea soup. I enjoyed it so much that I had a bowl of it for lunch.
We spent the majority of the day, bundled up, and on our balcony watching the scenery go by. As Chuck said, it was like watching a nature channel on a giant screen TV. Jon, our speaker, gave periodic commentary that you could hear over the outside speakers or inside on channel 44 of your TV.
It took 8 hours to go through the entire Sund from east Greenland to west Greenland. We met two other cruise ships going in the opposite direction – an MSC and an AIDA. Jon said he had never seen so much traffic on the Sund. LOL. When the ships would blow their horns in greeting as they passed, you could hear the echo for quite a few minutes.
We saw so many beautiful waterfalls, icebergs, and glaciers that I lost count of them all. It was a wonderful day.
One of the most interesting sites was to sail by the small Inuit town of 120 residents – Aappilattoq. It is the only town on the Sund. They get supplies once a week by ship during the summer and by helicopter whenever it can fly during the winter. Cruise ships have also donated supplies at times. They eat seal and fish as their main food sources. They also process fish for export. They have a school, a church, and a small grocery store.
One resident came out to greet us in his speed boat and sped around the ship. Don’t know if he stopped on the other side for supplies or just circled the ship.
We exited the Sund at about 3:30 and immediately the water got rougher. We will be doing this transit on the way back to our other port in Greenland, and I hope we have another beautiful day for it.
It was now time to get unbundled and ready for the evening’s activities.
Prins Christian Sund
The Prins Christian Sund connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. It is around 60 miles long and it is narrow, sometimes only 1,600 ft wide.
The Sund separates Greenland’s mainland from the Cape Farewell Archipelago, a group of islands off of Greenland’s southern tip.
It was named after Christian VIII (before he became the king of Denmark), but explorer John Cabot’s description is more accurate and more evocative: a river of melted snow.
At the entrance to the East to the Strait there is a weather station founded by the US during World War II under the name Bluie East One. The task of the weather station was to ensure that the shipping industry had reliable data on the weather at Cape Farewell, Greenland. On January 7, 1959, when the ship MS Hans Hedtoft hit an iceberg at Cape Farvel, the radio telegraphist at the weather station at Prince Christian Sound was the first to catch the ship’s distress signal.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents