Bird rescue in ghost town

Bird rescue in ghost town

Aurora has returned to Tasiilaq after dropping off last weeks guests to Kulusuk. We are now anchored near Dagmar Aaen, historical German fishing boat, which we passed two weeks ago on the way south around Kangerdlugssuaq. Siggi, Teresa and I got a tour around the boat – it was fantastic to see how the fishermen lived in the olden times. Just as an example, their bunks are behind tiny sliding wooden doors, so that going into bunk feels like squeezing into a cupboard. All interiors are wooden, but the hull is ice-enforced with aluminium.

Yesterday on the way to Kulusuk we stopped in Ikkateq, an abandoned settlement in southwest Angmagssalik. The village had less than ten houses and a building that doubled as a church and a school. We rang the church bell (it was loud) and Haukur played the organ, which was still in working order despite of 30 years of abandonment. The school room – complete with exercise books – and church hall were surprisingly tidy, even though the door was unlocked.

Some hunters still use the village as a base camp, and there was fish drying on few racks. Fish nets covered some drying racks and laid scattered across the shed roofs. Fluttering on the roof of one shed drew my attention, and I found a little bird caught in a net. Every attempt to take flight just made the tangle worse. The shed was too high to climb for my short legs, so Haukur came to rescue and literally chewed the fish net to get the bird off it. Of course neither of us was carrying a knife when you needed it, but luckily the bird got away this time. I’m sure this was not the first nor the last bird to get caught by the nets.

Today is a cleaning day for Aurora: dusting, washing, restocking and most importantly – shower!

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.