This entry is part of an ongoing series. Read Part 1
My first destination in Greenland for my summer High Latitudes expedition was Daneborg, a base station in NE greenland for several operations. Located at about 74 degrees North, it is home to the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol, and also hosts scientific research and as well as the historical preservation of old trapper huts.
The Sirius Patrol is a Danish military operation consisting of twelve young men who patrol the NE Greenland National Park (largest park in the world) with sled dogs. It was first established in 1941 as a means to patrol the coast for Germans and today maintains Danish sovereignty in NE Greenland. The Patrol sounds like a grand adventure- one I wish I could take! The twelve men divide into teams of two with an average of twelve dogs and make journeys of sometimes more than four months on ice, with the support of supply depot huts.
Summer for the Sirius Patrol is a time for preparation and overseeing the other operations of Daneborg. While I was there, marine biology and geology projects were underway with teams coming and going via helicopter and the annual supply ship also arrived. With the additional noise from boats, four wheelers, and barking sled dogs, it felt a bit like a bustling metropolis!
Audio Bonus: Hear what’s it like to take off in a helicopter!
Our team spent most of our time organizing and packing gear in and around an old meteorological station named “Krysten’s Perle” (Pearl of the Coast). The station is in a state of disrepair and used by various scientific groups as a logistics base, cook-shack, and bunkhouse. Apparently no organization will take responsibility for the building (responsibility at this point would mean paying for the cost of dismantling it) and every year it continues to deteriorate. I avoided sleeping inside due to the musty air, but did appreciate the kitchen. And the occasional shower heated by propane…
We also met some of the other projects in town— one being an expedition by NANOK, the North East Greenland Company, to repair old trapper huts in the region. NANOK is a fascinating organization whose mission is to share knowledge of NW Greenland’s culture and history while also restoring cultural monuments and buildings. One of the largest and most comfortable huts is in Daneborg. I had the opportunity to see NANOK work first hand, but that’s another story…
First things first, though, stay tuned to learn about life on a desert island!
Continued in High Latitudes Part 3: Sand Island