By Ben // Monday 24 Sep // 23:08:20 // 1 Comment // View
Well the melodrama of yesterday has subsided. The arctic awe has given way to the reality of the place, and of this trip.
So we’re sailing, after nightfall, and we’ve cleared site of land. Stomachs are somewhat woozy (no proper tossing yet, but it does seem imminent with certain clammy-faced crew members).
My shift “on watch” (above deck, steering the boat, watching for ice, and setting sails when need be) is 6-8 am&pm, and I’m feeling somewhat guilty about such a choice timeslot. My watch crew-Vicky, Brian and myself-is also top notch (although I’d likely feel that way about any grouping I’d find myself in). And we’ve got morning and evening twilight (and sunrise and sunsets, I suppose, if the clouds break).
Interesting realizations of the trip today, that this is no little jaunt around the arctic, but rather a pretty serious endeavour. This somewhat humbling recognition was prompted by Ko (real name, real badass) answering my question about why he came onboard for this voyage, as he’s sailed and travelled the arctic plenty in the past, but has somewhat “retired” from the life of adventure. Now Ko is our “guide” on this trip; he’s insanely knowledgeable about the history and science of the region, and has been to Greenland four times in the past, has been all over the arctic. He seems to have as good a take on the North Atlantic as anyone out there. So I ask him why he comes out of “retirement” for a trip like this, and he starts talking about the “adventure” of it, and how he wants to see how a little boat like ours-which, apparently, doesn’t normally take such a trip-is going to make the trip all the way to Greenland. It’s a trip that Ko-who has done it all-has never done, and he’s in it for the adventure.
So, yes, we’re on an adventure-not just an arctic “experience.” 750 miles at least (as the crows flies, and our route certainly won’t be so direct), which will take 5 or 6 days, depending on the wind. Now the thought of being on this boat for 5-6 days without even a view of land has caused at least a few of us a bit of jittery nerves. Claustrophobia, seasickness, and boredom seem to be the main concerns. (The last seems unlikely to me, but it is really difficult to read or write in this rolling cabin, before the stomach starts to wince. And, that said, even within a parentheses, I must close the computer.)