What if the world was 50 meters tall? What if the sky was cut off just 150 ft above our heads?
We would be left with an almost two-dimensional world where everything happened right before our eyes. Our minds would have to imagine the wonders higher up, invisible and imperceptible to our senses.
Storfjord is two dimensions this morning: low clouds and a layer of grey cuts the mountain slopes just above our heads and leaves our minds to wonder what lies beyond. What would this valley look like if its light could hit our eyes? What would be the shape of that slope? Travelling in these conditions is like reading a beautiful book: the reader is presented with images in front of their eyes, but the mind is left to imagine each character’s appearance and the landscape’s features.
This morning, we land in a bay on the southern side of the fjord to find peaceful and calm conditions after the storm. This soil has seen a lot of action in previous days, which is clear by the footprints of many animals: arctic foxes wandering along the shoreline, dogs (or maybe a pack of arctic wolves) playing a little higher up, and a polar bear walking majestically in the flats behind the shore. Our eyes and minds are left to wonder, once more.
We enjoy some beautiful hikes in this still landscape. Those of us on the long hike spot two arctic hares. Guests along the shoreline spot some seabirds and a beautiful iceberg, the only object that manages to shine in our grey, two-dimensional world.
Back on-board National Geographic Endurance, we have a short reposition to the head of the fjord. The sun appears every now and then, and we even enjoy some blue sky. The mystery dissolves itself along with the clouds, and our senses can finally perceive our surroundings. The mountain peaks rise with their elegant silhouettes right beside the ship, giving us glorious views. Some guests enjoy a Zodiac cruise or a kayak paddle.
Then it’s time for the polar plunge, and some of us fearlessly challenge the arctic waters, and the elements soon return, including fog.
We return to the ship. After a beautiful recap session, we start sailing with a cottonlike fog surrounding our ship. It is quite different from previous cloudless nights. After all, we’re in the Arctic. We couldn’t wish for more.