By Ben // Tuesday 2 Oct // 23:05:49 // 3 Comments // View
Representative quote of the day (which today will lead the post, as it’s the most welcome quote of the trip):
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have Greenland.” –Barbara, at 6:15am (Norweigan time), to Vicky and Ben, who then behaved a bit silly for that time of night.
We’ve arrived. Greenland, first appearing through the early twilight, rising from the horizon and looking a little too ambiguous (cloudlike, thin, atmospheric, imagined) to get hopes immediately up . (Mental process: “Could that be? No.too big, too white, must be a cloud.Looks a damn lot like mountains.Should I ask Barbara? Don’t want to sound dumb. Looks a lot like
land. Can’t be, no way, mind playing tricks. Big clouds that look just like mountains. That must be it. Yeah, that’s it. But damn that looks like land. Don’t be dumb.” And so on.)
Eight days across the Greenland Sea, sixteen watches up topside, twenty-four meals served at varying angled degrees from the horizontal, a bundle of bad nights’ sleep, plenty a sing-a-long, many a turbulent tummy, and altogether too may slips, falls, and bruises.
And every ache and pain, each sleepless night and every breakfast lost has been completely worth it. At risk of seeming like I’m mailing it in, I can’t offer much by way of words about this place. Not yet. There’s too much: too big, too emotional, too abstract, too pristine, too majestic.
Suffice to say, spirits are lifted, and we lifted many a spirit in celebration (and relief), after a long day of general arctic (land)-induced merriment: circling floating cathedrals of ice recently calved from nearby glaciers; touching down on land for an (at first wobbly) walk up and along a coastal ridge, the elevation giving a bit of perspective to the fjord; some snow fights; and, yes, to top it off, a late night gift of the Northern Lights. All is very, very good.