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Published: August 17th 2019
Today we had a pleasant day in Qaqortog. We had a leisurely morning and met at 10 a.m. Jan took us to the tannery where we had a tour. I have difficulty with this because it is a tannery for seal skins. I understand the subsistence aspect of it and that Inuit have been making sealskin clothing for eons, but I don’t like the fashion part of it. I remember years ago Greenpeace would try to block people from clubbing the young harbor seals. There was so much protest the sales of sealskin products decreased. This tannery sells their products to Greenland, Iceland, and Europe only.
The sealskins are brought here (the only tannery in Greenland) by the hunters, and are processed here, taking 3-4 weeks before they are ready for sewing. The skins can come from Harbor, Ringed, Saltedback, Harp, Hooded, or Blueback seals from different parts of Greenland. The skin gets pressed to get out any remaining blubber, then in a salt bath to remove blood for 1 week, then stretching and drying, then a chemical wash for 4 days for softening, pressed again, washed again to get chemicals out and put a lanolin type substance in, dried
for 2 days, run through a roller with sandpaper edge to smooth wrong side, then vacuumed to remove dust from sandpaper, steamed to look for irregularities, and inspected. The skins are graded A through D for quality, and the ones with yellowing are dyed various colors. Now the sealskins are ready for sewing.
Unfortunately there is no treatment for their waste. They have decreased their waste discharge a lot, but it is still discharged into the bay. And unfortunately there is no treatment system for sewage either.
After we left the tannery we had the day on our own. I had packed a lunch (from the breakfast buffet – salami, cheese, bread, and apple) so I hiked to the lake for lunch. I saw Angela & Nick there. John and Sheila decided to go to the Thai restaurant. Jan said there is a trail around the lake but I’m all for staying in town today.
I went to the museum which is small but nice. It is in the oldest house in town, built in 1804. There was a good display of the Inuit kayaks from frame to covered with skins, to decked out with harpoons and
other items. There was also current art from locals. The entrance ticket allowed me to go to another building which told about the Vikings in Greenland. Inside there was a tour group from a cruise ship that had pulled in today. This cruise ship is private; the people own a stateroom and the ship goes all around the world in 12 months. People can join and leave at different ports, as long as they own the stateroom.
Information about the World Cruise: "ms The World
- only USD 13,5 million(initially sold at USD 6 million). Short-term rentals - you can rent some of The World's cruise
apartments (depending on category) from ~USD 550 for a studio apartment (per person per night, min for 5 days) to suite rentals - from ~USD 20,000 a month."
I ran into the German couple that has been doing the same route as us since Narsarsquaq, and they were going to the church and invited me to join them. The cruise tour group was there also. This church is more contemporary than other churches I’ve seen here.
Our group met back at the hotel and we and our luggage were
brought to the dock to meet our boat. We checked into nice cabins, had dinner (veal, vegetables, potato, salad), and enjoyed the sunset from the deck. We are on this vessel 2 nights to get to Nuuk. The boat makes stops at local towns and villages on the way.
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