Svalbard

Posts from Thursday 27 September, 2007

The White Horses of the North

By Ben // Thursday 27 Sep // 21:45:27 // View

Sickness arrives. It has been ushered into the Noorderlicht by white horses galloping across the sea.

She’s a salty sea and an unforgiving one. Every swell pitches the boat into a violent two-stroke rise and fall. A pattern emerges–heavy tilt to the starboard, snap back to vertical-but while your body attempts to learn this new gravity, the rhythm is disrupted, punctuated by an irregular swell or as the ship’s course slips from true (which happens aplenty with our amateur helmspeople). It’s a scene that’s part slapstick comedy and part poorly produced disaster flick. Glasses careen through the Noorderlicht’s upstairs salon, bodies flop, benches overturn. A bell hanging above the bar shows us hanging about 25-degrees from horizontal. At times (check that-most of the time) it feels like an amusement park ride that doesn’t end.

I’ve managed to avoid the fate of many of my companions. Despite the persistent low-grade threat of ill that sits in my gut (much worse when in the boat’s lower interior level), I haven’t succumbed to any real high-grade sickness. I don’t know whether to credit the copious consumption of raw ginger, my cabin’s fortunate position towards the middle of the boat (meaning a mere 10 foot vertical drop between swells rather than the 20 foot or so plummet felt by those in cabins towards the bow), or simply good fortune and lucky genetics.

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Marcus Brigstocke’s Arctic Diary

By Marcus // Thursday 27 Sep // 16:05:36 // View

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Read Marcus’s Arctic diary on the daily telegraph travel website.
Click here to read >

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Bad sea

By Ben // Thursday 27 Sep // 08:25:47 // 3 Comments // View

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A salty sea this morning… bad, bad sea.
(Duration: 1.05)

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Web updates Arctic style

By Cape Farewell // Thursday 27 Sep // 07:10:05 // 1 Comment // View

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Brian gets roped in to help sending web updates direct from the deck of the Noorderlicht, as we sail through the night in bad weather and strong winds. Big thanks to Iridium for help with our remote communications setup during the voyage.

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Rinse, Repeat

By Ben // Thursday 27 Sep // 02:24:57 // 2 Comments // View

More of the same, really.

(Well, not really, but the mere thought of composing-thoughts and words-wrenches my gut.  In fact, one of the oddest effects of life on the sea is how dumb one feels.  The way I figure it-a good 95-percent of one’s mind, that is normally free for thought and consideration, is now occupied by the most basic of actions, body movements that typically require only the subconscious.  As a result, we all become blabbering fools.  Well, for much of the time.  I for one have been ridiculously slaphappy, laughing at the dumbest of jokes, at fruit falling from a bowl and casting across the room, or at any of the dozens of remarkable falls by just about every crew member.)

So we’ll see how we’ll fill the time the next couple of days.  I spend the hours between watch wishing I could read the many great books aboard the boat, or the half-dozen plays I brought along, or that I could write something more considered than these half-minded  blog posts.  But I plead seastupidity (and a bit of sea sickness prevention, as I certainly don’t want to test my boundaries by spending too much time in front of small text, or a monitor, or a notebook).

Repesentative quote of the day:  “It really is about patience, isn’t t?  –Vikram on enduring this trip.

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