An Inuit wedding is a strange mix between tradition and modernity. They emphasize the traditional costumes: The grooms dress old fashioned, he with white anorak and she with a colorful coat; And both in sealskin pants and boots. We were fortunate to be invited to his wedding by Nunarleq Mathaussen, a pure Inuit who married Ane, a local girl with Nordic features.

“We are very happy,” the groom confessed in perfect English, “because we were parents recently. Today we celebrate the wedding and the arrival of our first child.

boda inuit

Inuit wedding

In front of an arch adorned with flowers and blue balloons – in which one could read “a man was born” – on the porch was offered the most unusual snacks: whale meatballs, polar bear giblets and Russian salad; And then, the star dish:

boda inuit cabeza de beluga

Head of beluga, the most special gift

“It was brought by a friend as a present,” says Steve, the brother of the groom, who is Upernavic’s firefighter and also the taxi driver. As he speaks he unwraps a huge lump that turns out to be a severed beluga head, which the turkey plants on the porch floor.

-Eat the grease on the edges, is the best – we recommend.

Then we were invited inside the house to have cake and coffee. The house is full of family, but we hardly hear a sound; The feast is as silent as the people themselves; One walks among the prefabricated colorful houses – all of them wooden stilts – and finds the neighbors with beads; And we are in summer, when the sun does not put in a whole month.

It would seem that the Inuit are not curious; There are no retirees looking out the windows. Which is invested in the port, where children and adults clustered in front of the sailboats like the one who goes to the movies, and they can lie down all morning watching the most trivial of our activities.

In search of the Northwest Passage

The first day the Northabout was alone on the dock. But on the second day he presided over a row of four ships. Adventurers from all over Europe form their crews. Frenchman Brizhilli has given up the adventure of crossing the north-west pass, after its owner landed in Nuuk by a fit of nerves. The Polish Berg, on an environmental mission, also returns. And only we and the Austrians of the Zulungus continue the route; Them to the mythical passage of the Canadian north; We, to the Strait of Nares. The atmosphere exudes adventure, passion and desire.



On July 18 we tested the ship and the crew sailing between the ice and islets around Upernavic; We are approaching a huge iceberg whose sides flow authentic torrents.

The maneuver is dangerous, but Stewart knows why side should approach these ice cathedrals, not to be crushed by a block like a cockroach by an elephant.

Under a wall of hundreds of meters climbed for the first time by the mythical navigator and climber Bob Shipton, we realized the first filamings of the ship from the Zodiac;

Not far away lies the yacht of the legendary explorer, the Dodo`s Delight, who fell prey to a fire.

n the Upernavik cemetery is also the tomb of Navarana, the Inuit wife of the great Arctic explorer Peter Turgen;

The pioneer, along with Knud Rasmussen the most famous explorer of the Greenland Arctic deserts, had to install the monument outside the official cemetery, as his wife was not a Christian and was vetoed by the church.

They were the times of the great epics, when Upernavic was made of houses of peat, like caverns hidden from view and protected from the elements.

Cementerio Inuit

Inuit Cemetery

Today there is a mixture of old habits and postmodern luxuries that collide at least unwise; People, even the youngest, smoke, wear brand and operate mobile handsets. This does not prevent the locals keep their sleds and their dogs, who bark all over the neighborhood.

-There is a great uprooting and loss of identity – tells Maria Valencia, our doctor, Hans Kallerup, the local lawyer. “That leads to many cases of suicide and alcoholism among locals.”

All this is enhanced by the rigors of the Arctic winter with long months of complete darkness; And with the perils of the earth.

“There are some accidents when the fishermen leave their speedboats. They know the fog and they avoid the collapse of the great icebergs. Neither do they fear the bear. It is the black ice, totally transparent, which sometimes makes them capsize; And in the waters of five degrees death is very rapid.

The information given to us by the police officer Niels Voldbaek also ensures that these phenomena are altered and multiplied by climate change. His companion Esra-Klaus Berthlesen, who is a native of the area, sentence:

“For some years the summer lasts two more months. At least until November. ”


Grise Fiord
23 AUGUST, 2017

12.- The Inuit: a people at the crossroads

Grise Fiord is a grain of human sand on an immense island the size of England. Only 140 people inhabit this village which is the only settlement of Ellesmere, the northernmost insular of the Canadian Arctic. The rest is unleashed nature and implacable severity.

Read More…

North York Land
16 AUGUST, 2017

11.- Towards the mountains without a name

On August 8 we marched up the glacier carrying the equipment on pulkas or sleds. We wanted to climb the highest peak in the area. We were in the mountains that surround the Manson polar cap, the so-called North York Land. It is a remote white territory on the map.

Read More…

Cape Norton Show Bay
14 AUGUST, 2017

10.- A lost world

There was a movie – an adaptation of a Jules Verne story – that marked my childhood. The movie was about explorers flying over unexplored Greenland in an airship. They discovered, among other wonders, a surviving Viking community, plus a bay lost in time and mist where the whales were going to breathe their last breath.

Read More…

13 AUGUST, 2017

9.- Weather is in charge

Everyone has a plan until it gets spoiled. I had a plan. I had been watching the ice charts, the satellite images of the Sentinel – sent and analyzed by the expert Íñigo Orue – and the charts and had observed the following: the Strait of Nares is like a bowling alley.

Read More…

Familia Inuit llegando al Northabout
9 AUGUST, 2017

8.- Soriapaluk, a village on the border of the cold

On day 1 a speed boat was presented in front of the Northabout. It was a visit. The hunter Pullaq Ulloriaq and his daughter Bebiane honored us with their presence on board.”The Inuit are tight and distrustful of foreigners. It’s hard to get in touch,” some experts had warned.

Read More…

Northabout entre el hielo
1 AUGUST, 2017

7.- Defeat in Smith Strait (Chronicle 2)

The ice chart, an indispensable tool for anyone traveling on icy seas, gave rise to some hope: even Cape Alexander, the westernmost point of Greenland, only a third of the surface of the water was covered with ice. Enough for us. So we marched through a white maze dodging icebergs thanks to the skill as helmsman of Aitor Basarrate.

Read More…

Northabout atrapado en el hielo
1 AUGUST, 2017

6.- Defeat in Smith Strait (Chronicle 1)

They say that any polar adventure involves some kind of suffering. On July 27 we started our first major battle against ice. And we lost it. I will never forget the crash of the ice against the helmet. Runs from the beds to deck. And the long hours of hopeful and nervous glances trying to peer out into the ice maze.

Read More…

iceberg en la niebla
28 JULY, 2017

5.- Ghosts of the Baffin Sea

There are few experiences in life more disturbing than seeing an iceberg appear in the fog. We saw it on the third day of navigation from Upernavik to the north by the bay of Melville; Of course, it was not the first floating block of ice we came across; But this was veiled in mystery by an oleaginous haze, typical in this area of ​​the Baffin Sea.

Read More…

boda inuit
26 JULY, 2017

4.- Shipwrecks and beluga carpaccio

An Inuit wedding is a strange mix between tradition and modernity. They emphasize the traditional costumes: The grooms dress old fashioned, he with white anorak and she with a colorful coat; And both in sealskin pants and boots. We were fortunate to be invited to his wedding by Nunarleq Mathaussen, a pure Inuit who married Ane, a local girl with Nordic features.

Read More…

Pájaros sobre iceberg
26 JULY, 2017

3.- Quixote things and other unforeseen

People come to the Arctic in the hope of seeing new and wonderful things; To bring in his pocket money to tell that really worth it.

The lucky ones attend a northern aurora, spot a formation of whales or discover the polar bear at the time of breakfast with a seal; But what is really unusual is to see is two Basques carrying on a dingui – a standard Zodiac – and with a poke in their hands fighting against an iceberg.

Read More…

12 JULY, 2017

2.- The Strait of Nares, the gates of the White Hell

If the Mars Gaming Northabout Expedition succeeds, it will be the first time a Spanish team has reached the Geomagnetic Pole. But the most interesting is the territory where the bet will be developed. Authentic “door of the white hell” the Strait of Nares (which the expedition intends to cross) was the passage chosen by numerous expeditions throughout history to reach by sea the North Pole, because it was mistakenly thought that behind the ice barrier, a warm sea existed.

Read More…

David Hempleman-Adams
7 MARCH, 2017

1.- Mars Gaming Northabout Expedition

Adventures begin in the most unlikely places. The Mars Gaming Northabout Expedition came to being one haunted night, in the middle of the countryside, somewhere between the English cities of Bath and Bristol.

Read More…