Building on two days of community visits, Sascha and I had coffee with the former mayor of Qaanaaq, Lars Jeremiassen. Lars explained to us that even if this community lives off hunting, the rich stocks of Greenland Halibut in the waters may bring more fishing to this community. The small fish and meat processing plant on the beach has become too small and investments are made to increase production here.
Lars also told that more and more corporations are coming here for mineral exploration activities. Currently there are activities in Washington Land further north. Zinc is being mapped, and Lars was hopeful that these activities may eventually bring new jobs to the community. The current rate of unemployment is 20%, and job opportunities are few.
In a blue house on the main road lives Mamasu Kristiansen with his wife and a daughter. Hansigne was happily showing us that she could write the names of her entire family at the age of four. And while busy preparing for school, her father told us about his life as a hunter. He explained how he has witnessed changes in sea ice cover since her took up hunting as a 16 year old man. But he still enjoyed the free life of a hunter even if changes and Government quotas make it difficult to make a living at hunting.
Travelling home I leave a bit of my heart in North Greenland and another bit onboard the Arctic Tern. I will check this site for news and follow the adventures of skipper Grant and his lovely crew – Pascale and Valentine and the new group of guests onboard – Clive, Nick, Maurice and Paul.