Qaattu: The Baby Ugly Fish Bay

Qaattu: The Baby Ugly Fish Bay

Aurora spent two nights in Qaattu, a small bay in northwest Angmagssalik, when small ice prevented us entering Johan Petersen Fjord. The new anchorage was fantastic, and once again we saw that plans can change – often for better.

The bay had great shallow waters with plenty of interesting underwater rocks for paddleboarding, and kayaking group was pleased with the display of icebergs outside. There were also waterfalls (power showers) nearby.

There are three old Inuit house ruins in the peninsula and immediate islands, but we didn’t take a closer look. Few kayakers landed on a beautiful white sandy beach.

Qaattu means “he who had breaking sea over him”, but few of us decided to call it The Baby Ugly Fish Bay. Sculpins (short-spined sea scorpions) are ugly kind of fish with big mouth and lots of spikes, and the head covers about third of their length. Sculpins are mainly served boiled and only their tails can be eaten (and cheeks, which are a delicacy).

The bay was full of sculpins and specially small translucent baby sculpins, which swarmed around the boat. We debated some time whether something ugly can also be cute, as the small baby fish were indeed very cute but bound to become grotesque beings.

At first night the northern lights gave a great show, and the photographers rushed ashore to take long exposure photos that you cannot take from abroad a boat. I decided to sleep through it all – northern lights can wait until night watches of the return journey.

The week around Angmagssalik island is almost over. We will return to Kulusuk on Wednesday and bid farewells to a great bunch of people.

About Riikka

Riikka Puustinen is a freelance sailor with digital media education and long international career in UX design and project management. Fond of sun, snow, sled dogs, icebergs, mountains and creative thinking. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK.