Thursday, 6 October 2016

- a village in northwest Greenland facing Baffin Bay.

The Upernavik Archipelago is a vast coastal archipelago in the Upernavik municipality in northwestern Greenland (Qaasuitsup region), off the eastern shores of Baffin Bay.

The village of Aappilattoq is some 20-25 km northeast from Upernavik, on an island of its vast archipelago.

The archipelago extends up from 71° 50′N to the southern end of Melville Bay, at approximately 74° 50′ N.

Photograph of a steamer and a party of hunters in Melville Bay (1869)

Hunting boat, Melville Bay. Most inuit here live on fishing and hunting on the Bays.

Upernavik archipelago, thousands of small islands.

Aappilattoq, Upernavik municipality.

Aappilattoq is a small fishing and hunting village, founded in 1805 on a small island of the Upernavik archipelago.

Coordinates: 72° 53′ N,  55° 36′ W
Population:  ~ 200

The blue building behind the blue house is the school, accepting about 32 students. It has a library and that's also where most events take place - theater, celebrations and feasts, mainly.

Down left, half hidden, the fish processing plant, overlooking the small port.

Aappilattoq has no real port, rather a small jetty.

The beauty of the scenery is a blessing; but homes have no running water, stores close at 4 pm and internet connections are too slow; leisure time is hard to pass.

Aappilattoq became a trading post in the 1850s. Most of the village's inhabitants are engaged in fishing halibut and hunting seal or beluga all year round, as the sea around Aappilattoq is normally ice-free in winter.

As in most of Greenland towns, there are no roads or streets, just boardwalks and wooden stairways.

Most of the services are located at Upernavik, the last town this far North, where even in wintertime supplies can be obtained by helicopter, snowmobile or dogsled; but still Aappilattoq has a school, a store, a kiosk, and since 1964 a fish factory for some jobs other than traditional fishing and hunting.

The main trades include fishing, sealing and whaling, which employ most of the settlement’s inhabitants. The main catches are halibut and seals, which can be caught almost all year around.

No decent internet is available, talking on the mobile is one of few modern amenities.

The dog is the best friend and support, if you are to hunt or travel on iced terrain.

The Baffin Bay and Melville Bay areas are also where the largest number of polar bears have been observed in Greenland.

The only fast connection to distant towns (like Sisimiut or Nuuk, the capital) is by helicopter. But the nearby Upernavik is more frequently served.

Some winter images from the surrounding archipelago: