Icebergs

~~~~An Ode to Ice~~~~

I introduce to you my most beloved iceberg. This magnificent piece of ice is still engrained in my mind, even though several years have passed since I saw it floating in Columbia Bay. I made a small print of it and it is the only adornment in my otherwise plain white-walled room in Valdez. I often sit and stare at it, my focus shifting effortlessly between the grey clouds, the dark calm water and the brilliant blue ice. My mind sometimes plays tricks on me; the clouds appear to move swiftly across the horizon and the ice bobs gently from side to side.

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One of the things that I love the most about sea kayaking in Alaska is ice. There is ice everywhere, even in the warmer months of summer. I’ve spent countless hours marveling that ice can take such diverse form, size, color, and density. . each piece unique in its stage of life and movement. Clients and I love to observe the different sounds that emerge from ice: popping, hissing, sizzling, and groaning. We’ve sat in our kayaks and watched icebergs the size of an apartment building split in half and roll around seeking equilibrium, water and ice cascading and spraying into the air.

I look to ice as a great teacher, offering a sense of freedom, as well as pacifying turbulent times in life. Contemplating the transient nature of ice teaches me to approach life in the same way, especially uncomfortable situations. Ice is in a constant state of transformation, melting and freezing, breaking apart and floating away. No piece of ice will ever exist again in that same way. This sentiment is extremely liberating, as it can be applied to all feelings and thoughts, which we know can be quite terrorizing and overwhelming. Whether it’s sadness, anger or even ecstatic happiness that I’m experiencing I look to the ice, to this iceberg in particular, and a sense of tranquility immediately passes over me. It will pass. Whatever it is. . . It will pass. There is nothing to hold on to, just as the ice does not struggle to hold on to the water that comprises it nor the ocean in which it’s floating.

I hope you enjoy these images. . .

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Columbia Bay (c) Fredrik Nylen, a client on a 7-day trip

 

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Columbia Glacier (c) Captain Morganser A., former Anadyr Sea Kayak Guide

 

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Meares Glacier (c) Fredrik Nylen, a client on a 7-day trip

 

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~If you’ve made it this far. . wow. . you must really love icebergs as much as I do~

Which one is your favorite?

Send me a photo of your most beloved iceberg