Silent and Deadly

Icebergs are like the Sirens of Odysseus, drawing inexperienced kayakers in far too close. In photos, the bergs always look so beautifully serene and majestic.  But in reality, their deep fins are being eroded quickly by sea currents, sculpted into grotesque shapes, and they can capsize at any moment. The visible ice, above the water, isContinue reading “Silent and Deadly”

Iceberg factory

Suddenly, there they were: massive icebergs falling straight off the 10,000′ icecap. Danish skipper Neils Underberg (maybe not a good name for East Greenland), who had sailed these waters for 25 years, warned us about the big, ice-choked bay called Koge Bugt. I dismissed his warnings because kayaks can get through a lot of places thatContinue reading “Iceberg factory”

Corridors of death

Into this scene of Arctic tranquility shoots a shaft of reality. Those towers of ice, so calm and placid in afternoon sun, could explode at any minute and send tens of tons of ice smashing into the sea. Or onto a kayak. Which is exactly what happened … leading to a desperate race to saveContinue reading “Corridors of death”

Noisy wilderness

The Arctic is noisy. On the icecap, at 10,000′, the wind scrapes past in furtive bustles of spindrift. On the coast, the throb of exploding glaciers sound like cannons in a war zone. Inside our yacht, we were alarmed at the clang and rasp of her steel hull crashing through ice. But in our kayaks, we had become a part ofContinue reading “Noisy wilderness”

Freezing as we watch

Officially it is winter. In East Greenland there is no Spring or Autumn (Fall). In a few short months the open water transforms into solid ice that you can drive across. The freezing begins with ‘rubber ice’, a flexible soup visible in this picture. By day you can paddle through it, but at night it freezes solid and soonContinue reading “Freezing as we watch”