Although Vikings had inhabited the Nuuk region about 1000 years ago, the Danish missionary Hans Egede founded Nuuk in 1728 as the very first town in Greenland. Nuuk has a very rich and varied history with the oldest settlements dating back 4,200 years. It is the largest town and the capital of Greenland with 17,316 residents. Located on the southwest coast of Greenland it is surrounded by the massive Nuup Kangerlua fjord system. It is a contemporary city that reveals a Danish influence.
Setting sail for Nuuk in June 1929 with two others on the cutter Direction, Rockwell Kent first saw Greenland just south of Nuuk near the settlement of Narssaq. While anchored in the nearby Karajak fjord a storm blew through and sank Direction on the rocks. That morning Kent set out across the Greenland landscape to find help. That was the beginning of his love affair with Greenland. Having meet Knud Rassmusen and Peter Freuchen during the Direction's refitting, he began planning his return to Greenland for the summer of 1931.