Northwest Passage

“Westward from the Davis strait, ‘twas there was said to lie,
a sea route to the orient for which so many died.” – Stan Rogers

And here we are, 39,000 feet, eastbound over the Davis Strait – uncountably many islands glistening under the midnight sun. Seven hours ago, we looked west, into the shining Pacific – our ocean – and waved it goodbye over the roar of our Air France 747’s four Pratt & Whitney’s. So simple that the process went almost unobserved: window shades down to better see the dozen seatback movies, thumbing through the selection of entirely adequate French wines, and murmuring about the real cutlery we’re trusted with…

But dammit, this is the arctic circle, land of the red summer fire that crawls along the north horizon but never dies. The land of the Inuit. We approach the impossible cliffs of Greenland – mountains marching out of the sea into unbroken glacial ramparts. I want to grab the purser’s mic and say “Ladies and gentlemen, please turn off your movies and video games. Sit up, pay attention and look out your windows – this is something special.”

We’ve got split seating: J, D and A are in the row ahead to let the newlywed couple (married in Vegas, honeymoon in Paris) sit together. I dozed earlier, they’re asleep now. Andy woke over Baffin and I made sure she got a glimpse of the much-anticipated midnight sun before dozing off again. May not remember, but we’ve got pictures.

Reykjavik now ahead, off our left wing. Magic, I tell you, sheer magic.

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