After climbing aboard the SV Rembrandt Van Rijin in south-west Greenland, keen photographer and Regent Holidays' client, Garry Brisdion, shares his stories and top photographs from his coastal voyage. This blog is part 2 of his photo collection, click here to read part 1 if you haven't already.
The swirling mist in Qaqorup Fjord gave way to the occasional glimpses of blue skies and the opposite shore. Lost in the mist, our sailing ship appeared during one of these rare glimpses as the zodiac was departing for the shore. This was one of those opportunities that photographers dream of and I couldn’t resist.
Hvalsey is the site of a Viking church which was the last one used in Greenland in 1413. Despite there being no settlements of any size in the fjord, the site remains important to the region and the locals have continued to maintain the jetty. For me, the beauty here was the swirling mist that moved in and around the fjord, enveloping the entire area in a sense of mystic, sometimes raining, sometimes sunny but always with the swirling mist.
The weather, terrain and ice conditions are constantly changing as you move around in the fjords of SW Greenland. There constantly are new sights, new atmospheres to be experienced. The combination of low bands of cloud, the beached icebergs and the low sun reflecting off the water provided yet another photographer's delight. For me, each of the elements provides interest but the infinitely variable combinations that you can experience is the real magic of Greenland.
Magical as the coastal region of SW Greenland is, the glimpses inland hint at the expanse just waiting to be discovered - higher peaks, more rugged terrain and, of course, the ice cap. The opportunity to explore wasn’t there for me but I understand there are walking trails throughout the region that the more adventurous of us can access but often only from the water.
No trip would be complete without a bit of iceberg spotting – not that you can miss them, of course. Icebergs are everywhere and come in every shape and size you could imagine. Some are grounded -called growlers - whilst many are freely floating and need care when navigating the fjords. If you can safely do so, taste the meltwater coming off them. It is so pure and yet mildly sweet. Oh, and extremely cold of course!
If your trip is equipped with a zodiac RIB boat there are plenty of opportunities to stop off for a short walk in the remoter areas where low lying valleys join the fjords. However, the ground is often still strewn with boulders and frequently covered in deep heather-like vegetation, which makes walking difficult. Walking along the sandy rivers or beaches can also be perilous - it is not always as solid as it appears and you can rapidly sink to your thighs. I speak from bitter experience!
Not to be outdone by the scenery, the sunsets in the region can be spectacular. Often a perfect end to a perfect day. What more can I say!
Delighted to finally be trading holidays with his two grown-up kids for adventures with an array of lenses, Garry has long been fascinated by geography, the natural world and the contrast of human habitation with tough landscapes. He's recently visited Iceland and Italy, and will soon be heading to the Nepal Himalaya to complete the trek to Everest Base Camp. Garry shoots with a Canon 5D EOS Mark IV.
Garry travelled to Greenland with Regent Holidays aboard the SV Rembrandt Van Rijin in 2017.