By Alex Jones
STRIKING photos captured by a British photographer show a 78-year-old schooner seemingly frozen in time under a magnificent ice archway in Greenland – which is only accessible for six-weeks of the year.
The awe-inspiring shot was snapped recently in Scoresbysund in Greenland, part of the largest fjord system in the world. Usually only accessible by dogsled, there is a brief six-week window every year where the ice retreats back enough to let boats enter the frozen waters.
The incredible photo, which has been splashed across social media of late, was shot by London-born photographer Joe Shutter (30). Other remarkable shots include a bird’s eye view of Greenland’s magnificent ice cliffs and an unusual view of the ice archway, giving it the appearance of a crashing tidal wave.
“What can I say about Greenland? Well, it’s guaranteed to blow your mind and then some” explained Joe.
“I have just returned from what can only be described as my greatest adventure ever. Wonder after wonder. It’s such an old land geologically speaking, which has allowed so much character to grow. It’s very mineral rich – vast mineral reserves – which is why I think President Trump might be interested but I find it fascinating, especially as I now live in Iceland, a relative newborn by comparison.
“The landscape is simply awesome – in its truest sense. Literally awe-inspiring. And we saw a polar and this most magnificent ice archway which of course none of us expected. You can’t expect anything on these tours – maybe some ice and rock perhaps – but we were very fortunate.
“The shot you see, of the boat under the ice arch, looks like it was a spot of good luck but we actually had to put a work into getting it right, orchestrating the right shot. We went out onto the water in tiny rafts and managed to get the shot that you can see. It’s gone viral – it was the top-rated photo on Reddit last week, it’s been quite incredible.”
The majestic boat pictured, is a 78-year-old schooner named Opal. It holds approximately 16 people and started life as a warship before it was converted into a home in the 70s. It is now run on electric motors and wind power, ensuring that the environment is not negatively affected, a matter that’s very close to the 30-year-old photographer’s heart.
“My father worked as researcher, looking at ways of protecting the Amazon rainforest – very timely work,” added Joe, who intends to return to Scoresbysund over land next year.
“I suppose Greenland is the opposite end of the scale to a South American forest, but still very important. The scale and rate of the sea ice retreat is alarming, quite cutting.
“There’s the juxtaposition of Greenland – it manages to be awesome and fragile all at once. The ice arch that we saw will be long gone now, melted down and floating out to sea, getting smaller by the day.
“I think we’re all aware of the problems the planet faces but it was quite harrowing to see it happening in front of you.”