Thursday, September 11, 2014

Northern Lights

We found a great place to camp less than 2 hours paddling east from our 'retreat beach'. There was fresh water, plenty of space for tents and an excellent view. We had landed earlier than normal so there was plenty of time to relax and enjoy our surroundings. Two brave souls even took to the icy waters for a spot of Arctic skinny dipping. Brrrr!

I took a dim view of the aquatic daredevilry and went to bed early as I would need to be up at 1am for my 'bearwatch' shift. As soon as I got up I was surprised as to how dark it seemed. In mid August the nights get progressively darker at an alarming rate.

I stood on a rocky knoll and did a sweep of the nearby shore with the main beam of my headtorch. I must have been feeling a little on edge because I nearly jumped out of my skin when my torch picked out a particularly pale (bear-shaped) boulder on the beach. I put on my stove to make a cup of hot chocolate to settle my nerves. It was then that I noticed a pale green stripe gently moving across the dark blue sky. It grew into a collection of broad shafts of light that waved and curled like a curtain caught in a breeze. I had been staring long enough for the water on my stove to boil over. Thankfully there were no bears sneaking around camp.

In the Morning all we could talk about was the fantastic light show but it was time to head North-West for our consolation prize; a couple of days exploring Kangertittivatsiaq fjord and the calving face of Glacier de France.

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