When I awoke in the morning, the yacht’s engine was repaired and running again and we headed out into open water. That day and the following evening weren’t much more restful than my first night on the boat had been; the sea was rough and the yacht, which wasn’t terribly warm even with the heating working, was cold as it pitched back and forth on the waves.
The boat — designed to withstand Arctic conditions rather than to offer creature comforts — was spartan, with small spaces and very basic bathrooms. But I adjusted quickly — the point of the trip, after all, was to get to Greenland safely, not to relax in comfort on a luxury yacht.
Once we left the open sea and entered Tasermiut Fjord, which cuts a deep blue vein into Greenland’s landscape, our conditions were completely different. The water was calm and it seemed that we were sailing on a perfectly still surface. Remarkably beautiful and surrounded by two long, mountainous peninsulas, the fjord seemed a world away from the ominous waters of the North Atlantic.
Two days of choppy seas and little sleep had taken a toll on me. As we sailed into Tasermiut Fjord, I was weary and lightheaded. But as we boarded the Zodiac — a special rubber boat that would take us from the yacht to the shore — I also felt slivers of anticipation. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a place most people will never see, and if I had experienced difficulties in getting there, I knew it would be worth it in the end.
I hadn’t left the yacht and I was already stupefied by the incredible landscape around me.