Original hunters

When Gino Watkins arrived in East Greenland, in 1930, he was lucky enough to meet local hunters and their families who still lived the traditional life of seasonal hunting. The East Greenlanders, or Tunumiit, were consummate crafts people who were both highly artistic and very resourceful. Their decorated homewares are beautiful and the high level ofContinue reading “Original hunters”

Musée de l’Homme

  Our expedition was also engaged in historical research. We received vital help from the Musée de l’Homme’s Catherine Enel, an expert in East Greenlandic culture and language. She was continuing the research started by French explorer and anthropologist Paul-Emile Victor, who arrived in East Greenland in 1934 aboard the French exploration vessel Pourquoi-Pas? underContinue reading “Musée de l’Homme”

Shackleton to Watkins

The explorer we followed, Gino Watkins, himself followed the great Shackleton. Gino’s ship in 1930-31 was the wooden Norwegian icebreaker ‘Quest’. In 1921-22 Quest had been chartered – and named – by Sir Ernest Shackleton for his last Antarctic expedition. Just off South Georgia he died aboard from a heart attack, and was later buried on a hilltopContinue reading “Shackleton to Watkins”

Noisy wilderness

The Arctic is noisy. On the icecap, at 10,000′, the wind scrapes past in furtive bustles of spindrift. On the coast, the throb of exploding glaciers sound like cannons in a war zone. Inside our yacht, we were alarmed at the clang and rasp of her steel hull crashing through ice. But in our kayaks, we had become a part ofContinue reading “Noisy wilderness”

Searching for a hero

Gino Watkins is famous for being the father of sea kayaking. In 1986, I went searching for the spirit of Gino the hero, by following in his courageous wake, south through 1,000 km of ice and storms. Gino became an expert kayak hunter in a tailor-made sealskin kayak hand-build by Ippa Kai, from Isortoq. Not many people know that all ofContinue reading “Searching for a hero”