FOB 40kg, ready to serve (photo Peter Gallinelli)

This page contains information on some of the moorings we have been to - and liked. The list is incomplete, and is only intended to add to information given by the excellent Imray guide 'Arctic and Northern Waters' as well as the necessary 'Arctic Pilot Volume3' (NP12) edited by the British Admiralty.

Positions were determined with the navigation GPS and are given according to WGS84.

A word on our mooring practice in uncharted waters ... here.

Keep in mind that this information is incomplete and must always be double-checked and used with care, as when sailing in uncharted waters. The authors do not make any guarantee to correctness or usefulness of the given information.

List of moorings in geographic order, from South to North

Narsaq - Sisimiut

Siorak (62°28.8'N 50°19.0'W): Good hold in sandy ground protected by the little islets to the S. Not recommended unless the weather is calm and setteled. Possibility to make a short visit onto the amazing sand beaches. The inland route lacks bearings and is exposed to the wind and waves from the W. Charts are approximate and not in accordance with GPS positioning. Kare must be taken.

Tovkussaq (64°52.8'N 52°11.8'W): Good hold to the N of the bay in 5-10m sandy bottom. Fresh water can be obtained at a small waterfall to the W of the bay (metal ring in the neighbouring rocks).

Tasuissaq (65°34.8'N 52°46.2'W):

View to the West, Nanuq is the small dot to the bottem right of the bay (photo Kalle Schmidt)

Good hold to the NNE of the bay in 10m sandy ground. Beautiful hiking in the surroundings with breathtaking view to the W. Close to Manitsoq. Very alpine.

Iserkuq (fjord). Several mooring possibilities, one of them being 'Jak's Bay' (66°07.4'N 53°36.4'W): Good hold to the S of the bay in 18M muddy ground. Small waterfall to the W of the bay with metal ring. Very rocky and arid surroundings.

Sisimiut - Upernavik

Sydbay (67°13'N 53°53'W): In contrary to the instructions found in Imray, the anchorage to the N is not strong enough for strong winds (20knots) from the S (to deep and to many algae). Excellent hold can be found to the W of Ukivik in 12m sandy ground. Protected by several awash rocks to the SW of the island. Visiting the island is recommended: the view from the light house and the the well conserved turf house are worthwile.

Ikerasarsuq (68°08'N 53°27'W): The rocky and deep bottom is not suited for mooring. There is however a little peer suited for a short stop. The small village lies out of the way of the main touristic route.

Hunde Ejland (68°52' 53°07'W): Small unvisited village situated on an archipielago at the entrance to Disko Bay. Approach to the little harbour through the N/S channel to the E of the archipielago. Aim towards the little peer to the W, avoiding the visible rocks. There are some 6m shoals. Fresh water is produced by reverse osmosis.

Bredebugt (69°16'N 50°58'W): Small bay on the S side of the main bay, 5M to the N of Ilullisat. Good hold in 6-8m sandy bottom. Depth close to shore is around 5m. Size limit, the use of land lines may be recommended.

Sarqaq (70°00'N 51°57'W): good anchorage inside the little bay to the S of the small village. Protected to the S by a little island and 1m shoal. Excellent hold in sandy bottom (5-10m). Fuel available on the peer. Small shop. Nosy-Bé wintered here in 1996. Well charted.

Temporary mooring to the S of Nugsuata (70°40'N 54°34'W): well protected from the dominant winds from NW and SE. Open to the sea to the S and W. Good hold in rocky ground covered with algae (11m), close to a pebble beach at the foot of a stone wall. Volcanic origin. Surrounded by beautiful valleys, with mushrooms and berries. Some Inuit tombs.

Niaqornat (70°47'N 54°34'W): Small village installed on an isthmus. Beautiful surroundings with great hiking possibilities. The mooring is situated on the W of the isthmus. Good hold in calm weather in 15m sandy bottom around 15m from the beach. Open to the NW and only protected by big icebergs grounded on the shallow bottom.

Mooring to the S of a glacier 'moraine' at the W entrance of Amitsup Suvdlua (71°49'N 55°24'W):

View of the mooring looking East (photo Kalle Schmidt)

Good hold in 10m sandy/algae ground. On the shore there is an old hunting cabin. The 'moraine' is not shown on charts but can be seen on satellite images. Arid surroundings, amazing hiking terrain! Close to the beach there are some rests of turf houses and a tipi camp.

Upernavik region

Isfjord, island without name (72°48.2N 54°15.5W): 13m deep, fine sand ground. Good hold for anchor in good weather. Possibility to access the Ice-Cap. Beautiful sight onto glacier.

Fjord without name (72°48.2N 54°15.5W): very good mooring protected from the wind and the ice. Sandy/muddy ground with good hold (algae can be avoided). The end of the fjord is accessible with some local knowledge (rocks in the passage - pre-sounding with dinghy recommended). The little bay at the end of the fjord is potentially an all weather/all year round mooring place. Fresh water stream close by, on the exposed S side of the bay. There seem to be some rests of a summer camp of local fishermen. The big waterfall shown in the N of the fjord no longer exists.

Appilattoq village (72°52.3N 55°34.2W):

Vue du mouillage vers le Sud, la passe d'entrée est à droite (photo Kalle Schmidt)

Excellent small natural harbour used by local fishermen. Good hold in the middle of the main basin at 13m, in sandy ground (depths vary between 6-18m). Approach from the W through a narrow passage. It is recommended to stay in the middle (8m), as there are some rocks to both sides close to the shore. Care should be taken when moving inside of the bay as there are some isolated underwater rocks in the main bay and the passage leading to the smaller bay to the E. Fresh water lake 15' away by foot. Distance to inhabited village ~2km - easy walk. GSM connection.

Atiligssuaq (72°46.9N 55°51.4W): small bay perpendicular to the main fjord. Well protected from the predominant winds. Sandy ground (unverified hold). Good mooring can be obtained by anchoring in 12-15m water and attaching two lines to the shore.

Bay to the South of Umiasugssuk (72°45.8N 55°53.9W): good anchorage on sandy/rocky ground. Small beach on the S of the rocky isthmus that closes the bay to the NW. Steep mountains on both sides of the bay. Many climbing possibilities. Several waterfalls in the surroundings. Old snow at sea level (August). Quite visited by locals. Avoid mooring to close to the flanks of the mountains, danger of falling rocks!

Nutaamiut (73°31.1N 56°25.1W) : Village marked as disused on charts but inhabited: new infrastructure (fishing factory, GSM antenna, houses). Anchorage can be found to the E of the GSM Relay antenna (50m from the chapel) at 0.2nm from the cost. Sandy/rocky ground, 6m deep. Caution is advised, there are some shallower spots. There is no peer, but a protected stone wall equipped with rubber tyres at the foot of the crane to the S of the village. The anchorage is not well protected from ice although shallow bottom keeps big icebergs away.

Qaanaaq region (Thule)

Barden Bugt (77°08.7N 70°43.1W): landlocked mooring with excellent hold in 15m sandy ground, aprox. 80m from the beach at the end of the fjord behind a 'moraine'. Keep clear of shoals close to the different 'moraines' and Kap Powlett. Remains of an abandonned village along the N coast of the fjord. Glacier landscape. Over night there is a cold breeze blowing from the glacier. A potential winter camp mooring? To be tested in strong winds from the W (uncomfortable swell from the side may occur).

Qeqertarssuaq (77°25.4N 70°14.0W):

Mouillage à l'ouest du villiage abandonné de Qeqertarsuaq; vue vers l'ouest (photo Kalle Schmidt)

Good hold in 5m sandy ground in a little bay open to the NW (find a spot between the algae). Make a big turn around the W of the islets that close the bay to the N to avoid underwater rocks in the axis of the islets. Do not go further into the bay as the Islet to the W, there are numerous rocks! The end of the bay is dry at low tide. The abandoned village is 1.5km to the E of the mooring. There are several turf ruins along the coast.

Fan Gletscher (77°32.5N 69°54.8W): mooring to the W of the delta formed by the streams coming form the glacier, opposite of Herbert Oe. Excellent hold in 7m sandy ground. Open to the S.

Qaanaaq (77°27.9N 69°16.6W):

View from Qaanaaq to the South-West, Nanuq and Herbert Oe in the distance (photo Kalle Schmidt)

Very good hold in 5m in sandy ground. 5-6 cables to the W of the village. Protected by some underwater rocks that are visible at low tide forming a small bay, providing shelter from the drifting ice. The approach is though a narrow passage, 2.0 to 2.5m depth at low tide, 77°27.8N 69°17.0W coming from the S. The depth in the bay is around 5m. No protection from the wind nor some swell at high tide. Access to shore by dinghy on the beach towards the village. 3/4G network. Don't miss à stop at Qaanaaq Hotel!

Inglefield Bredning

Open from the middle of July to the beginning of October. Spring tides are of about 3m, half for neap tides. Communication in the region on VHF channel 10. No link with Asiaat Radio.

The entrance of the fjord is exposed to strong winds from North and South. Very strong gusts will fall down from the mountains This should be taken into account when mooring. The head of the fjord is exposed only to gales from the South. They can be very strong. We have experienced wind speeds above 70 knots.

Sailing to the E of Qaanaaq requires a special permission. Ask at the Kommunia for help. It is also advised to check with local hunters, as to avoid disturbing them in their activities.

Kangerdharssuk (77°33'N 68°35'W): anchorage in 15m sandy/muddy ground. Good hold to the S of the delta. There is just enough space to swing around the anchor with reasonable distance to the shore (20-40m). Good protection except from the N to E. In SE gales ice drifts into the bay. In this case; a temporary anchorage may be found on the opposite shore of the fjord below the mountains at the S end of the delta - very steep but good hold. Rich flora. There are a few huts used by local hunters and rests of a disused village. Easy access to the Piulip Nunaa ice cap. Alpine landscape.

Harward Oer (77°29.5'N 66°29.3'W):

View of the mooring towards North-West (photo Kalle Schmidt)

The anchorage is situated 2.5 miles to the E of Qeqertat. Good hold in sandy/muddy ground. Protected from the ice and the heavy sea in all directions, but not sheltered from the wind because of the low surroundings. Stay in the middle to cross the bay that separates the N and the S island. Depths not less than 10m. For the approach from the W: Round the S of the little islets (77°29N 66°42W) close to the village of Qeqertat. Access to the mooring from the N. 45min hike to the highest point of the archipelago (numerous little fresh water lakes).

Harward Oer (77°30.4'N 66°24.6'W): excellent mooring in a closed bay 4M to the E of Qeqertat. Depths between 8 and 25m. Good hold in sandy/muddy ground. The best protection from southerly winds can be found to the S of the bay, just to the W of the entry passage (moor in 15m depth and tie two land lines to the rocks to the S). Keep clear of the drying rocks all around the shore at a distance of 20-40m.
Caution: underwater rocks to the SW of the entrance, aprox 50m from the shore. Green landscape. 15min hike towards the E to a high point with a view onto the vast end of the fjord.

Harward Oer 77°29.5'N 66°33,5'W : there are numerous mooring possibilities in this natural harbour which is situated between the two main islands of Harward Oer. The bay we unofficially call 'Nanuq's Cove' can only be used with landlines. Protection from S-ales is good, from the North slightly less. Winds from E and W are moderate. There are several drying rocks in the center of the bay. Further inside the ground is not deep enough. Therefore it is convenient to attach two landlines to the N and two to the S, close to the entry of the cove. Strong straps (such as used on cargos) are perfect to make a good anchor around big rocks. 200m of mooring line are advised. The depth in the entry is around 3m. There is a deep lake at about 1km to the SE, with clear fresh water to fill up fresh water tanks. The landscape is breathtaking with many different hiking possibilities. The distance to the village, Qeqertat, is 2.5km in a straight line, but you need a dingy to cross the bay (if not frozen).

A word on our mooring practice in uncharted waters

Screenshot of track when sounding depths for safe mooring. Note: Most charts for Greenland are not accurate to WGS84 (OpenCPN)

While searching for uncharted moorings, the open-source Worldwind application edited by the NASA has been very useful. Unlike other applications, sat images are available in 3D and they are conserved on the computer once displayed and can be used while sailing.

We use two 40kg FOB anchors with 50m chain each (12mm). They provide good hold in nearly all kinds of ground. The small mizzen is very useful in strong winds by keeping the boat facing the wind, thus reducing the force on the anchor.


peter.gallinelli June 2016