Smooth waters are a blessing they say but not in this case. For we know exactly what handed them over to this ghostlike stillness. There was the very real possibility or, almost the certainty, that we would become ghosts here as well. My fellow crew members faces told of the same grim thoughts. With the air this cold and nothing but white and ice surrounding you, those thoughts emerge and one wishes to be one of those stupid birds we saw screaming and sitting on an iceberg some days ago.
It feels like a lifetime ago.
I had my fair share of controlled detonations during my time in the troops so I was used to abrupt and loud sounds. Or at least I thought I was. All the blown up bridges, roadblocks and bunkers will do nothing to prepare one for the sound of a collapsing glacier. It feels like a deafening earthquake with you right at the epicenter. The polar ice soon proved too dangerous for the vessel to go further so we had to anchor at a safe bay, scanning the surrounding area with our drones and then zodiacs. I was on one when it happened. In all of a sudden, a colossal slab of blue ice detached itself from the glacier and sailed into the calm waters. Surrendering to the tidal violence of years. The north grinds you down. The waves threw the small boat against the wall of ice and I do not recall how I made it back onto the vessel. But I was very lucky. Five went, three made it.
(68°30'08.0"N 32°29'46.5"W. Sept. 19)