I had dived under ice platforms in the chilly, cold waters of the Arctic and Antarctic several times before diving in Greenland’s icy environments. I found the place really amazing, mesmerizing, dotted with deep blue colored icebergs in clear waters.
Every iceberg is unique, spreading an incredible feeling of peace and pureness, and even if made by water (in the end) they are alive. They creak, they move, they breathe... almost like living creatures. When you’re down there listening to the air escaping the ice and hear, even feel, the crackling from this frozen fortress, you feel small, very small! Some icebergs are as tall as a 15-storey building. These Arctic giants break away from glaciers in the north, then drift down to the south for weeks.
The structure of the icebergs underwater is completely different to the exposed part at the top. The changes in shape and texture along the ice are mesmerising. 90% of the ice mass of an iceberg is hidden below the surface and from the view of most people. It is an unforgettable experience to see an iceberg from beneath the waves, and you never know what kind of ice structures you will observe since every iceberg is sculpted by nature. A diver will never dive the same iceberg due to the fact that they are melting down and breaking apart continuously. I was excited to experience the great feeling of diving icebergs once again. They are not the easiest of dives, with many precautions and safety procedures to take into account, but when you’re down there it's worth the effort.
As I enter the water, my face becomes instantly numb. My dive computer reads -1.5°C. As I swim closer and closer to the iceberg, it seems to grow taller and taller. Once I reach the base, I look up and I feel like I am next to a ten storey ice building. Every dive at an iceberg is memorable, and maybe you will feel that the first dive is worth the trip alone.
The diversity of small, colourful living beings might be a surprise. Soft corals, nudibranches, anemones, sponges, feather stars and many other species
can exist in the cold water and offer unbelievable photographic opportunities. Greenland has interesting marine life, such as kelp walls, sea-snails, crabs, sea butterflies, various Arctic fish, shrubby horse-tails, jelly-fish, sea-hedgehogs and starfish. There is a reason why, as cold water areas are biologically the most prolific areas in the world, only surpassed by coral reefs.
Reaching the diving spots is mesmerizing in itself, as we use snow scooters led by experienced Inuit hunters and fishermen to go across icebound fjords and pack ice. Once the residents used dog sledges, but nowadays dog teams are fewer. They are mainly used for tourists who enjoy fabulous excursions in the pure silence, and many villages are still home to more dogs than people. Inland there is an interesting area on the edge of town - the area of the dogs. This is where all the townsfolk kennel their sledding dogs.