Saturday, September 13, 2008

Return from the Arctic

I'm flying home from another of my arctic sojourns. Yesterday started a little before daylight as we left the ship anchored in snow-covered and breezy Resolute, and zodiaced to the nearby shore to catch our ride to the airport. We were met by a grizzled and burly man in a thick, faded, plaid shirt that looked like it was rarely removed, and then, only when absolutely required. I said, "Good morning." and he grunted something not unpleasant, but not entirely intelligible either, clearly not a morning person. This was the only sound he made until he departed again in his battered and rattly van with a simple, but reasonably clear, "See you." How such a brief exchange could endear you to someone I don't know, but I felt a fondness for his thrifty style. He looked and acted like the iconic working man of the north.