Thursday, August 5, 2010

Arctic Island

Arctic Island, originally uploaded by susanvg.

Adventure Canada Trip: July 23 - August 2


The air feels wonderful to breathe – big lungfuls of fresh clean air.

We got into zodiacs and headed for Assaqutaq, a mainly abandonned island community. This village was vacated in the 1960s when there was a voluntary program to relocate people to larger settlements, in this case - Sisimiut, where there were more services. Part of the island is used for a summer fishing camp. One house had solar panels and a wind turbine on top. It was fascinating to roam the island – many arctic flowers, the ground soft and resilient. The island was covered with soft cushiony grass – it feels as if you are walking on a very thick spongy carpet. There is evidence here of sod houses from the Thule period– houses built into the earth. It seems there was some wood in the arctic – driftwood that travelled on ocean currents. They may have used it for building. But whale bones were also used as timber – holding up the roof of the house.

Looking to the Mainland

Some of the European style houses from earlier days have sod insulation. There was a wonderful feel about the island. - bits of history and culture to try to understand. And the scenery is at the same time barren and rich. The dark skies and mist added to the mystery of the place. There are rocky cliffs/mountains. An old graveyard sits up the hill with fenced in mounds as graves.


Many arctic flowers and trees no higher than 6 inches. Berry bushes creep along the ground. On the top of hills you could see cairns – used by the Inuit for navigation or to designate a cache of food. This is a mystical place.

For more photos, click here


  1. This is a delightful picture of the 'mystical' Arctic. Your trip sounds wonderful!

  2. You really are making the most of your memorable moments. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  3. This is fascinating. I'm learning from your wonderful pictures and stories. What a grand trip! Thanks for overcoming the barriers to sharing - wow!

  4. Thanks for sharing your pictures, experiences and learnings. It's almost like being on the trip with you. So glad you've been able to have this amazing adventure.

  5. Love the landscape shot with the one, lonely building! Nicely done!

  6. Really sounds like a mystical place. But sad that it's all deserted now. That is the fate of many of the islands further off our coast, too. People find it too difficult to cope without services, and often cut off connections to the mainland.
    Lovely pictures!

  7. And your photos have a dreamy quality, too. I passed by the earlier posts to get here and can hardly wait to continue my journey with you. So many wonderful sights to photograph!