In August and September 2003 I took my Feathercraft K1 kayak to Iceland and Greenland. I went kayaking (alone) in East Greenland from early to late August from a place called Kulusuk. You can click on the thumbnails for an expanded view- (for pictures and details of my kayak trip in iceland click here) - (for more kayaking trips click here)
I flew out from Reikavik in Iceland using Air Iceland . They didn't charge me any excess luggage, for the folding kayak and camping equipment I carried. I carried some Freeze dried food food with me, but the rest of my supplies I purchased from the Kulusuk general store. The range at the store was not great - but enough. I bought fuel for my MSR fuel stove (petrol) at the local petrol station. I carried a two man tent - which would have been fine for Australian conditions, but was not windproof enough for Greenland, and especially later in Iceland, but it survived (with rocks piled around it). I had a reasonable down sleeping bag with another summer weight down sleeping bag as an inner (advice from the Perth Scount Shop), and I was never cold. I had neoprene booties, but these were never warm enough for the cold water. I went to a lot of effort not to get my feet wet (hard when you are kayaking), in the end end wearing plastic bags over my feet and socks and then putting them in the neoprene booties. My cold feet problems where only solved when I went back to Iceland and bought Neoprene Socks that I then worn with my Neoprene booties. I also wore a PFD and neoprene gloves . My paddle was carbon fibre.
I had only a wet suit, and met other kayakers before I left with only wetsuits. However with hindsight -a drysuit probably would have been better, although it would have been too warm on the sunny days. I am not sure if I had capsised and was in the water for a long time that the wetsuit would have been enough.
The weather in Greenland was overall very good. There were only two days that I stayed tent-bound with rain and wind. Lots of days in the two weeks were simply fabulous - sunny and calm. Overall paddling in the fiords the sea is not rough. The exceptions to this were sometimes wind some afternoons would be funneled down a fiord, making it rough. I suffered my roughest day when I had this funnelled wind and was paddling back to Kulusuk and was outside the fiords exposed to the atlantic. Afterwards it seemed that the simple solution to these winds was just to land and wait a couple of hours - because they only seemed to last that long.
I carried an EPIRB and an Iridium Satellite Phones. I stored in the Satphone the numbers of the local police and the local Helicopter company. I did think that if I got into trouble I would ring the helicopter company and pay a large amount of money for them to come and get me.
Polar Bears: I didn't see any polar bears, but I didn't have any equipment to deter them. When I met Jasper at the beginning of the trip - he carried a gun he rented locally and mace. It was my impression - from the locals - that at that time of the year the polar bears had stopped floating down on floes along the east coast of Greenland, and any remaining ones had been shot by the locals. However, I was always on the lookout, and any noise at night certainly got my attention. I am not sure what I would take if I went back to Greenland. People suggest loud horns, but they forget that the icebergs are always breaking up - and loud noises are common. A gun just being fired as a warning I am not sure would do much - in the end you would have to shot to kill - and not miss!.