We had a bit of Knud’s orange today. Perhaps not a full slice, but a much needed respite to our travel the last couple of weeks. When we awoke at the campsite Chris described, we saw a glorious stretch of open water heading south, which meant we could finally paddle, provided we could get ourselves and kayaks over the ice foot. This was a challenge Steve solved. We hauled our loaded kayaks on top of the ice and dropped them down the other side over a sheer drop of 3-4m. Then we climbed down into our boats lowering ourselves along a line Steve had installed for this purpose. Getting into the kayaks was made more precarious because the current was swift moving and filled with chunks of ice ranging from the size of small stones to large refrigerators. It definitely was a pulse-elevating way to start the day. But then we were paddling in calm water under a glorious blue sky.
In the space of a few hours we covered more distance than the few days before. We continued until our way was blocked by a large expanse of grounded sea ice – back to hauling the kayaks. Urgh! (An Inuit word meaning “urgh”). After several more hours, Steve led us through a maze of grounded ice. It was like a slow moving, visually stunning Disney ride ending at our campsite. And now, it’s time for Mike’s Arctic Haiku:
Except possibly my ear lobes