Monday 7/27- Reykjavik, Iceland to Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland

Today was not quite as planned, but worked out well.  We planned on leaving Reykjavik Iceland and stopping in Kulusuk, Greenland.  Kulusuk is on the east coast of Greenland and would have divided the trip in half.  With a forecast of clouds pretty much all the way, we took some extra time to apply anti-ice to the plane.   I do this myself and apply the fluid to the leading edge of the wings, and tail.  

As it was, the weather forecast was pretty good in Sondre Stromfjord and if the winds were right, we could easily make it all the way.  We climbed to 12,000 feet and there was a slight TAILWIND.  This is not usual going west, but it worked out well.  We were in and out of the tops of the clouds so we requested and were given 14,000 feet.  We ended up at 16,000 feet which was the forecast tops.  At that altitude we were on top. 

We reached Greenland in about 2 1/2 hours and the weather started to clear about half way across Greenland.  We spotted a speck on the ground (top pix) which we later found out was a radar installation.  As we approached Sondre Stromfjord, still at 14,000 feet, we could see the end of the ice cap (2nd pix).  The approach was interesting.  Although the ceiling was about 2,000 feet, we were given an ILS approach (Instrument Approach).  We were told to hold at the marker (about 5 miles from the end of the runway) at 12,000 feet.  There was one aircraft on the approach, a Citation Jet holding above us at 13,000 feet and a twin Cessna holding at 14,000 feet.  We were cleared for the approach FROM 12,000 FEET about 4 miles outside the marker (9 miles from the end of the runway).  You really can't make turns up there since you are flying up a fjord.  We descended rather rapidly, as did the aircraft behind us, and landed straight in on runway 10.  There was about a 12 knot tailwind on landing but the runway being 9,200 feet long, made the landing easy.  You can see (3rd pix) not only the runway as we were coming in, but also THE ENTIRE TOWN OF SONDRE STROMFJORD.  You can see two clusters of buildings.  The cluster on the far left is the terminal/hotel/restaurant/souvenir shop/and bar.  The nearer cluster is the residential area.  The population is about 350.

The flight took 5 hours and 13 minutes.  After landing   we were again greeted by Carl, who was our handling agent in June, on the way across.  It was really good to see his smiling face.  He takes care of everything so efficiently.  We were refueled (4th pix) in a manner I have not seen before.  We were directed where to park, and then a pickup truck pulled up with a small trailer behind.  The lineman connected a hose from the trailer to a tank in the ground, and refueled the plane.  Fuel cost here is about $6.90 per gallon.

We taxied over to the parking area and Carl helped us check into the hotel.  The view from our room is interesting (bottom pix).  (Our plane is on the left.)  Sharon may get some sleep tonight.  When we were here last the sun was up 24 hours and Sharon couldn't sleep.  She is a little luckier this time.   We will have almost one full hour of darkness tonight.  Good luck Sharon.

We plan on leaving tomorrow morning from Sondre Stromfjord to Iqaluit, Northwest Territories, Canada at about 10:30 Greenland time.  Iceland was 1 hour earlier than Scotland.  Greenland is 2 hours earlier than Iceland, and Iqaluit is 2 hours earlier than Greenland. 

We will stay at the Discovery Lodge, which is the same hotel we used prior to our crossing.  We checked the weather and it is supposed to be cloudy, but the ceilings should be OK.


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