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Whales, Paddle Boards, and Wellness – Chanett tried It All!

Inspiration / Articles / Whales, Paddle Boards, and Wellness – Chanett tried It All!

In the summer of 2019, Chanett went to Greenland for the first time – and then she just kept going! After three trips, Chanett has gradually ticked all the boxes with great Greenland experiences. These are some of Chanett's summer experiences.

Chanett Christensen from Copenhagen has been to Nuuk three times to visit her friend Kathrine. It has turned into many experiences because both women are good at finding experiences – or just creating them themselves. “Being in Nuuk is an experience in itself. I have had plenty of time to explore the town on my own, and it is so nice that you often greet the people you pass on the street,” she says.

On days without excursions, Chanett took walks to Circus Lake and around the mountain of Quassussuaq. Chanett has also been good at seizing the opportunities that exist in Nuuk.

Whale Watching

“I don’t know if I bring luck with me when I am in Greenland, but when we were on a whale safari, we saw a humpback whale that came very close to the boat. As in VERY close. It swam beneath us. When you go on a whale safari, you don’t know beforehand if you will see a tail jutting from the water 20 meters from yourself, or if you have to look with binoculars, because there is no guarantee to see one,” Chanett told us excitedly. And she has only praise for the sailors:

“The Greenlandic sailors are good at communicating together about where they have seen a whale because they will do everything to allow you to see a whale. They are also very careful not to get too close and disturb the whales in their habitat. On our tour, we were really lucky that the whale was so playful and curious. It came up to us and swam underneath the boat, almost as if it was waving at us with its fin. I think it was about 10-12 meters long because it was bigger than the boat. It was very close to us. If my arm had been one meter longer, I could have touched it!”

 

The video below is Chanett’s private video from the whale watching trip.
Watch the video with audio (danish)

 

The Dream of Kayaking with Whales

“I would like to kayak among the whales. Now, I want to experience the whales even closer up. Seeing a whale was the dream of my life. It still is. To experience something so big was amazing. I couldn’t care less about swimming with dolphins. That’s never been a goal for me. But to experience a whale, a giant whale, something that big that swims in the water. You can’t describe it at all! I am not done with that experience! It was a huge dream come true, so now I would like to go on a kayak trip where you get even closer to the whales, even if I have to sit upright and sleep out there on the water. I have to try it!”

SUP: Stand Up Paddle Board and Activities in Nuuk

“It’s a little difficult for me to explain what has been the best experience and why. In the summer, we went out on stand-up paddleboards on the fjord. It was amazing. We had to put on wetsuits. It was really nice, and we also got to stand up under a waterfall. You have to be aware that there are many boats on the fjord, and that gives some waves, so you also have to make sure that you do not fall into the water,” Chanett explains.

“I had practiced a bit at home by the beach, so I knew how to stand on such a board. Kathrine had not tried it in the same way. I almost fell in once, but Kathrine fell in three times,” Chanett giggles delightedly. “I was actually a little scared that she would come over and push me in because she thought I should jump into the water and experience it, now that I was wearing a dry suit. I did not agree! No-no! I thought it was probably okay to laugh a little at her, but I made sure to paddle a little further away so she could not reach me and push me in, also. Looking back, it might have been fun to fall into the water. What was the worst that could happen? That I got wet, and that was it, but when I was out there, I really didn’t want to fall in!”

“We were out sailing for three hours, and, for two of those, we were on a paddleboard. Then we sailed around to see if we could spot a whale. We did not see one, but then we experienced the beautiful nature and the ice floes and icebergs in the fjord. We were actually dropped off on an ice floe: thankfully, they came back and picked us up, so that’s good,” Chanett laughs.

Peace of Mind

Chanett’s trips to Greenland have not only been about fun experiences but also about relaxing:

“There is this certain inner peace that Greenland provides. I am not through with experiencing that at all. Our everyday lives are just so full of everything. Everything has to go so fast. And the faster, the better, and you do not get to disconnect. In Greenland, things go as they go. You can’t hurry. Nature sets the framework, and then you have to navigate in that. So I’m not done with Greenland at all. In any way! Just think of all the animals you meet! When do you get to experience a reindeer? Or eagles? And humpback whales and, well, you name it!”

A trip to Nuuk does not just have to be about the great experiences in nature. Many other experiences can make your vacation special. “It is your responsibility to make the trip your own,” says Chanett. “For example, we had a Thai massage, and we went to the cinema, and I have had facials. We have also had nails done, for example. There are many ordinary, everyday things to do in Nuuk. If you want to slow down and relax, you can get a facial. I also went to dinner at Inuk Hostel and tried a reindeer burger. It was pretty cool to taste a reindeer burger. It’s not something you get back home. Or just the fact that you have ice from the Greenland Ice Sheet in your freezer, or that my friend ran up to a colleague to get some minced reindeer meat so she could make chili-con-tuttu!” Tuttu is the Greenlandic word for reindeer.

The Greenland Ice Sheet

“To me, it was a huge dream to get up to walk on the Greenland Ice Sheet, but it was only on the third trip that I finally got there. It was so strange: You are just standing there on top of the ice, and everything is white. It was crazy. And out there in the middle of nowhere, I had cell phone coverage! It was crazy that I could write and tell friends that, right now, I am standing on top of the ice sheet!”

Two sudden life changes made Chanett travel to Greenland. What did it mean to her?

Chanett spoke to Louise Larsen and Jesper Kunuk Egede

Greenland Started an Inner Journey

Chanett Christensen has been to Greenland three times in a year and a half. She was in mourning and dealing with grief, and Chanett just wanted to get away from it all. Gradually, she found that instead, she had embarked on a journey of transformation.

Read story

"..Greenland for me was staggering in its beauty, size, remoteness and rawness.."

Ursula Mattson

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