Ice in all its forms – whether briny frozen sea or sapphire blue compacted snow flakes from a glacier – is one of the highlights of the Arctic landscape.
This incredibly dynamic crust is ever changing and ever satisfying to the eye thanks to its transient and shifting nature. Whether I’m watching the bow of the ship split salty pans of ice, or staring back at the path we have just cleared through the solid horizontal plane, I’m aware of the novelty of being in the less than one percent of humanity existing this far north, at this very point in time.
The ice is timeless, and temporal at once. It is home to polar bears wandering each year for thousands of miles as if on a massive tread mill. Their very habitat and environment is in constant flux as the ice thins, piles up on top of itself, splits, drifts away, or anchors itself to the shore.
If we are lucky, we stumble upon a bear in the ice and spend as much time as we can watching, learning, gob-smacked and in awe. There is nothing on earth like these bears; these lumbering lipovores single-mindedly in search of chubby seals upon which to feast.
The glaciers exhibit a different side of the ice. Vertical faces of blue and white that are actively calving and exposing their cerulean hearts as they melt and recede back into alpine valleys worn smooth by their decent.
Zodiac cruising amongst the newly birthed icebergs is a snapshot in time. These chunks of ice will melt and roll and will never look the same again.
Timeless and temporal, like life itself.