Artists and writers have an important role to play and it is vital that they are fully engaged in these (climate) issues

Hello from David Noble

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David’s ‘Hello’ is a great summary of the aim of the voyage and the whole project and gives an insight of what is happening on board.
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Change is really in the air

We’re just pulling out of Ilulissat harbour. It’s around three pm. I’m feeling a bit rough from last night at Murphy’s bar where the local band played for us and the talent of Cape Farewell returned the favor. This was our “night out” and it was out there in a great way. Ilulissat is a settlement in Disko Bay and it’s a pretty groovy town. With this group of great people we are leaving an impression as well as an imprint wherever we go and that’s the interesting part, being able to sing and disco dance in Disko Bay with some townsfolk of a Greenlandic village is really part of how things are, and will become more of, in this crazy technology filled and fast moving world. With travel and the ability to go most places there is a real change of how we see ourselves in the world, beyond being able to see and experience great things, a new relationship between us is being forged. The outdoor climate as well as the way we live on this planet together is changing. Change is really in the air, politically and socially as well as literally. It’s exciting and it’s something really worth being involved in. This is the stuff that can push us into real evolution of mind and how we exist.
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Breaking Up

Walk along the edge of the icefjord at Ilulissat and stand staring out at the ice field and calving icebergs. The weather and appearance of the landscape change completely four times in the space of our three hour walk. People here live in a very dynamic environment, and cope with some unique hazards. A sign on the approach to a little beach warns ‘Extreme danger: Do not walk on the beach. Death or Serious Injury may Occur. Risk of Sudden Tsunami Waves Caused by Calving Icebergs’. We giggle a little at finding such an alarmist sign on a seemingly innocent little stretch of sand and rock. People up here know from toddler age upwards that their environment is always changing – and dangerous.

Read on and more of Joe’s posts, and his colleagues’ responses, on the Science, Technology and Nature Blog.


Day 5 and this is the first textural blog I’ve managed to get out! A reflection on the amount of things I’ve been shooting so far. Today we stopped to pick up more passengers (Graham Hill, Shlomo and Jude Kelly) so I took the opportunity to have a quick look around the port.

It was a working port, a few large ships and a swath of smaller fishing vessels, so it was probably a little naive being surprised at the sight of a whaling vessel off-loading it’s cargo. The man on board snagged a chunk of flesh onto a hooked stick held by another boiler-suit-cladded fisherman who in turn slung it into the back of a nearby pick-up. The amount of meat involved resembled the props department of a good horror movie, luckily for the weak of stomach, the whole show was sugar coated with a blanket of falling snow.
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Greenlandic dogs

Greenlandic dogs, bred with wolves and used for pulling hunting sledges, howl above the town of Ilulissat. Audio by Vicky Long.

QA – Geo-Engineering

Marije’s question

Dear all, I was watching this lecture by David Keith at about geo engineering. He poses a few very interesting questions, and I was wondering what the general view on geo engineering was on the boat?
* I am aware you probably won’t be able to watch this video on the boat…

Sunand Prasad’s response

What do the Cape Farewell crew think of Geo-Engineering as a solution to climate change? Well, we haven’t all discussed it in depth, but from a few conversations its clear that we share 1: serious worry about the unintended consequences of some of the proposals that have been aired; 2: incredulous amusement about the complete lunacy of others and 3: ill temper at the thought of the promise of technological quick fixes distracting attention from tackling the cultural challenge that climate change poses.
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Hold on

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KT wowed Cape Farewell-ers and Greenlanders alike during an impromptu performance at an Ilulissat bar called Murphy’s, backed by the local Disko Bay Blues.
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The Disko Bay Blues Band (with special guests)

The Icebergs, Carol Cotterill and Emily Venabless backing KT Tunstall at Murphy's Bar, Ilulissat
KT Tunstall backed by ‘The Icebergs’ (scientists Carol Cotterill and Emily Venables) and local band The Disko Bay Blues at Murphy’s Bar, Ilulissat. Photo: Nathan Gallagher

Excuse the spelleng mistakes, the grammatical errors and the mistaken cultural references, but this blog comes after only 6 hours sleep total in two nights (holding a satellite phone outside, pointing at the sky in the snowing Arctic is certainly a new experience for 3am internet roaming). This alongside the introduction to the most dramatic landscape on earth can only lead to a brain that somewhat resembles the broken ice floating through the sea.

David Noble and 'Murphy' locals.
David Noble and ‘Murphy’ locals. Photo: Nathan Gallagher
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If the ice doesn’t melt and the water doesn’t freeze…

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Robyn Hitchcock opens Cape Farewell’s contribution to a night at Murphy’s Bar, Ilulissat with a modified version of ‘Cocaine’ – including some relevant lyrics ‘If the ice doesn’t melt and the water doesn’t freeze, it’s okay’, (well it’s not really…).
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Icebergs and discos in Disko Bay

David Noble

My eyes opened this morning to a seascape of icebergs barely outside my cabin. We had moved much further north overnight, toward the Disko Bay area. The area is littered with icebergs that originate from the Ilulissat glacier, move through the Ilulissat ice fiord and dump into the ocean in Disko Bay.

The glacier is sick. It has climate change. As a result, the glacier is retreating at a lightning pace. Right now, it is retreating by 38 metres per day; over the last 10 years, it retreated by more than 16 kilometres.
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Red Ice

Red Ice photographs by Chris Wainwright

Red Ice photographs by Chris Wainwright (artwork in progress)

Cape Fear

Lori Majewski

A gorgeous sunset has painted the Arctic pink. Singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has romantically referred to the scene as a “bonfire on the horizon.” But I am not fooled by her beauty: These are dangerous waters, and Cape Farewell does not want to give the impression that this is a pleasure cruise.
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