Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway

For two days and more, we sit in the ice, starring out at a world of snow and ice and fog, all in gradations of gray.

When the clouds deign to lift, we can make out specks of black; ringed seals and the occasional yellow blob; distant polar bear.

I pace the 30 feet of available deck space, growing anxious, bored, depressed, subdued, achy, resigned and back again over the hours. We divide the day and night into two hour shifts, sleeping and eating at strange and uncertain intervals.

Beyond the slow, inevitable melting, the view does not change.

The boat and the ice begin to feel like a prison.

Powered by two bracing cups of coffee and more anxious dreams, I scramble up the mast and survey our surroundings. Ice, mountains, snow. At the edge of vision, I can still make out one large polar bear, walking along the shore, on patrol. Not exactly walking away, but not venturing any closer, either.

Soon the fog descends, and steals him away as well.

August 8, 2009 - Sabine Bay, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard


Radu said...

I've just noticed the date inside the post ... 1 month ago. You back home and just posting as you go through photos, or is the fog that thick over there that you got confused about the current month? :) If the latter, hang in there.

Photobby said...

I believe Paul "bear bait" Sounders is in Africa. Thawing out.