Knud came through – on our last full day of paddling. He delivered not just an orange, but a full case of them. This was likely his attempt to make amends for all our toils of the previous weeks.
For the first time, we had a glorious day of paddling. Calm, blue skies. Placid water reflecting the ice as it passed below our blades. For long stretches, flocks of guillemots led our way. These impish birds are the penguins of the north and a delightful distraction while paddling.
We reached Carl Ritter bay in the early morning. I promptly prostrated myself on the beach thanking the spirits of Messrs, Rasmussen, and Ritter for providing this day and location.
As I write this, I’m sitting on a field filled with Arctic poppies, fireweed and willow. Everything is still. It’s warm enough that I am wearing only a light shirt and pants after bathing in the stream that runs next to me. Before me is a collection of ice bergs and sea ice of every shape and size imaginable. They are sitting on a mirror-like expanse of water that reaches to Greenland looking like an outdoor art exhibition at the MoMA.
I am savoring every drop.