After an evening acclimatising to the boat we awoke on Day 2 to a calm bay, just north of Nain, perfect for practicing and testing our diver propulsion vehicles, our snazzy underwater scooters. Hot pink, rich red, glossy grey, broken black and bright blue, they all have personalities and minds of their own. We’ve weighted them and worked out how to connect the batteries, which were not the easiest. Everyone pulled together and we were performing as a team, focused on task, helping each other, and all trying something new whether it be scooters for the first time or that particular type of scooter in the Arctic waters, a chilly 3C. By mid afternoon, we were all driving these little bullets of joy through the water column and even trying new tricks like towing each other along.
Then it was time to up the anchor and head north. The packice previously prohibiting us from heading ashore had dispersed slightly so we could aim for the Torngats and potentially Hebron, an abandoned, very remote, town now an archaeological site. Through the second night we rocked and rolled and this morning awoke to an iceberg. Not just any iceberg: My first iceberg. Hopefully the first of many! The contrast of a white cut off half pipe shaped ramp of ice in the foreground set against the grainy barren rock faces on the landward side, old brown limestone with an iron stripe sandwiched through the middle, was just spectacular.
It is so remote here it feels like we are in another time and place. There are no more trees. Rocks and some lichen and snow. It is hard to believe that this majestic place lies covered in ice and seeped in darkness for most of the year. It feels like an honour to witness it during its finest months. What energy all those little plants must feel righth now and what opportunities the animals must be making the most of in this hour of sunshine. They seem to be making the most of their short time here and I’m inspired to do the same.
As we approached Hebron, just before lunch I was drawn to a white pencil line along the horizon that seemed to be underlining the mountains and separating them from the sea. From my first view point it seemed to be another trick of the horizon on the mind. Ice. A sea of ice lay before us. I couldn’t help but wonder, what does it hold?