Skaergaard: The Grigorie Mikhiev

The vessel that took us to Greenland and back

Our ship was the Grigoriy Mikheev. This vessel had a crew of 21, is 66 m long, 12.8 m wide, with a draft of ~4 m, and a displacement of 2000 tons. It has a top speed of 14 kts, and a cruising range of 70 days. It can hold up to 46 passengers. Our party was approximately 33, including trip leaders. Built in Finland, this ship was being leased to Oceanwide Expeditions by the Hydrographic Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Here is the ship in Keflavík Harbor, before we boarded for the trip.

Closer view of the Grigoriy Mikheev. The flat-sided part of the superstructure holds the passenger cabins. My cabin was the second porthole from the left in the lower row.

Morning life jacket and lifeboat drill. All put on large life jackets and got into our appointed life boats. The lifeboats are entirely steel. The inside has an engine, a fuel tank, a radio, steel benches, and some tinned provisions. Not very comfy but doubtless better than drowning in the North Atlantic.

View from above the bridge onto the mid deck, showing our wake and one of the Zodiacs.

Looking down from above the bridge to the mid-deck. The large green cover to the hold is visible, as are two of the three Zodiacs, the foredeck, and the crane that lifts the Zodiacs on and off the ship.

To load the Zodiacs, a gangplank is first hoisted by the crane onto the side, and one end is lowered to the water. The large mass of rock behind the ship is called Skillenunatak, with Kobbernunatak behind and to the left.

View of the stern of the ship, with the second Zodiac loading up and the third still empty.

A view of the ship (just left of center), looking over the toe of Basis Glacier. The entrance to Skaergaard Bay is to the right of the ship and Kangerlussuaq Bay is beyond. This photo was taken from the south flank of Basistoppen. This gives some sense of the scale of the region, and the size of some of the icebergs compared to the ship.

Approaching the ship in the Zodiacs. The conical spire to the left is unnamed, 700 m, and the larger peak partly cut off to the right is Pilespidsen.

Composite image of my cabin, looking from the door to the porthole.

Composite image of my cabin, looking from the porthole to the door. Hallway door is to the right, bathroom (!) door is to the left. The bathroom did indeed have a shower, and quite a luxury it was, too. Amazing for only 1.5 square meters (not meters squared).

View to the southwest from the macrodike in Mikis Fjord, with the ship and some icebergs. The crane is raised, ready to pluck the Zodiacs from the water when this late evening excursion was over.