On Tuesday 12 June 2007 Sir Wally Herbert died. I met Wally a
few years ago at his house in Scotland. Wally lived on
Greenland’s west coast not long after I was born. He saw a
asked Wally many questions but one sticks out. I asked what he
looked for when selecting dogs. He said, “Gary, invariably it
was dark so I’d have a torch. I’d shine it on the dog. If it had
four legs that was good enough”.
It meant so much to have met him and I was about to write to
him again about my starting life in Greenland. Wally was a very
special person and in his final years I only hope he knew it. I
told him but I don't know that meant much coming from a puppy
Mid-June was the last time I saw a
dog team on the sea before the ice broke up.
It might rain a couple of times a year here. It did this
month. Kids walked around with bin liners for raincoats. They
looked so well fitting as if tailored. Clever mums.
I bought a little boat with a 40 h.p. motor. It enabled me to
explore a little into the fjord. From home, 200 metres from the
ocean, I can see 25 miles across the mouth of Scoresby Sund, the
world’s largest fjord system. Darker sea offshore indicates
bigger waves. Ice near shore keeps the waves down but snags nets
set for narwhale.
you want burnt retinas or snow-blindness sunglasses are
mandatory here. I wear
CEBE Cecchinel and Spot sunglasses for protection against
blinding water glare.
Standing up in my boat I’m on the sharp lookout to determine
a route through pack ice. Iceberg ”feet” are many times bigger
than what’s seen on the surface. They’re propeller wreckers.
Zeiss 8 x 32T FL binoculars I survey anything suspicious,
judge distance and make decisions to survive.