"Frozen Giants"

The boat in the picture looks like something out of an Ernest Hemingway novel or perhaps a Humphrey Bogart movie. It has a certain quality about it that gives it a rather mysterious air. In actual fact it was this little nautical treasure that took us out one day for an adventure among the icebergs and what an experience that day was.


The place was Illulisat, Greenland. It was here that the iceberg that sank the Titanic came from. It is an incredible place to visit for so many reasons. Just a small town around a tiny bay on the Greenland coast and close to one of the biggest glaciers in the world that is where the giant bergs are born and calve into the sea.

The town has 2000 people and six thousand dogs. In the winter, survival depends on the dogs.

I wanted to share some shots with you of the Frozen Giants of the north. The shot that shows the giant berg sitting on a curve as though it is on top of the world was taken with my full frame fisheye lens. I always loved that lens. If you look closely you can see a very large part of the berg way down under the crystal clear water. 90% of the bergs is under water. Just try to imagine the size. Some of these unbelievable behemoths are as high as an 80 story office building almost as high as one of the World Trade Center Buildings.

Iceberg One
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Iceberg Two
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Iceberg Three
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Iceberg Four
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When you are out in the little boat scooting in and around the bergs, you have to stay well away from them because they can completely turn over without warning and what a sound they make when they do. If you were too close when it happened your boat would simply be crushed.

In one of the shots you see a very hospitable gentleman named Strange ( pronounced "strang") reaching with a pole to pick up some of the ice broken off of one of the bergs so we can have a champagne toast at the top of the world with ice that has been there for a thousand years. Strange was our guide for the few days that we were there.

There is not what you would call a very large influx of tourists in Illulisat. It is very expensive to get there and in general, tourism is in its infancy in the area. People come here primarily to see the bergs in the summer and in the winter they come to dog sled in the "Land of The Midnight Sun." Where it stays light 24 hours a day for six months and dark the other six.

When you are cruising out among the giant white monuments of nature there is a spiritual silence in the air, a stillness that inspires introspection. It is such an amazing place.

The bergs look like they might have been cut from the glacier by some gigantic yet unseen hand and power. To look at them so close it is like savoring one of the most unique sights in the world. It was Barb's interest in the north that caused us to come up here. I said I could arrange to take her wherever she wanted to go and she wanted to see Greenland so Greenland it was. I am so glad that this is what she wanted to see. It was certainly not disappointing. I hope you enjoyed the images of these incredible giants.


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