Sunday Evening Reflection: Traveling the Ocean with Icebergs

Bay Bulls is a small fishing town in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This is where we boarded the fishing boat that would take us to see the majestic icebergs that drifted along the far off horizon. Camera in hand, I breathed deeply of the bracing fresh air and felt the heady excitement of adventure. It was a calm day, according to the tour hosts. The low hanging clouds merged with the blue grey of the ocean as we headed out into open water.

The definition of calm sea is when the water is not moving excessively and there are small waves. As the icebergs came into view, I realized that small waves have a powerful force. The wind moving across the surface of the ocean is a transfer of energy that tossed our boat from side to side.

I spent most of my time sitting very quietly on the open deck, feeling the advent of sea sickness, but determined to capture the spectacular display of ice with my camera.

Was I feeling just a little sorry for myself as I watched others scurry from side to side of the boat, laughing, chattering and pointing out each new view? I confess that I was, even though I was putting on a brave face.

And then I felt someone drape a warm blanket over my shoulders, and sit down beside me. The captain came to see how I was faring. For a time, we sat in silence and then, he spoke of his days as a fisherman, the freedom of being on the open seas, of battling the storms, and coming safe home. It was dangerous work he said, but the sense of independence was worth the hardships and risk.

I thought of Vincent Van Gogh words, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

44 Comments Add yours

  1. cindy knoke says:

    You are remarkable Rebecca. I loved every bit of this, from the narrative to the photos.
    Maybe God slumbers in the ice, waiting for us to wake up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      He does indeed and we are learning to awaken. When we see the distant horizon, feel the power of the waves, and hear the experiences of those who are connected to the immensity and grandeur of the ocean, we are humbled and grateful. Hugs coming back your way. I

      Liked by 2 people

  2. elisabethm says:

    That is so spectacularly beautiful! I’m glad you overcame your fears, so that you could capture this beauty!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      The rest of my family was having such a good time that I didn’t want them to know that I was experiencing seasickness. So I headed to the other side of the boat, but they still found me and met “my captain.” The tour was exceptional and we had arrived in Newfoundland just at the time when the Icebergs appear, early spring. Travel may be stopped for a time, so it is a good thing that we have photos!!! So glad you joined me. Did you feel the waves?!!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. elisabethm says:

        I could certainly feel the waves! A wonderful adventure!
        So unfortunate that you got seasick, but luckily ‘your captain’ managed to distract from that 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother says:

        You would have enjoyed the Captain’s narratives. He spoke of the transitions in fishing industry, from when the fishing was plentiful to the time when the fishing grounds were diminished. It was a fascinating discussion and it was a great distraction. It was a reminder to me that change is inevitable, that life moves forward and so much we.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my dear Rebecca, these are breathtaking shots! I can only imagine how you must have felt on that boat… 🤗😘🙏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure. I wish I had taken a selfie of the Captain and me, but alas that did not happen. Perhaps it is better to have the memory. Hugs and more hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so glad I joined in… as for memories, they usually are much stronger, so i assume it’s an image you’ll always treasure! 🤗😘🤗😘…and more hugs to you! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave Astor says:

    Rebecca, stunning photos, a beautiful video, evocative writing, and an excellent quote to top things off! Sorry about the seasickness, though.

    I wonder if those icebergs have grown smaller in recent decades because of climate change. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Dave, the seasickness was necessary for the greater story to unfold. As in the best of novels, without conflict, uncertainty, pain, even suffering, the most memorable stories never happen. We are living this thought right now so, I’m thinking that we will see many narratives that comes in the next months – all of them VERY memorable. Whether icebergs are smaller in recent decades is a very good question. Just read an article from National Geographic about Greenland and the Newfoundland corridor of icebergs. And now this one that suggests that a major glacier is growing in Greenland, but climate change and warming ocean continues. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145185/major-greenland-glacier-is-growing. Thank you for your heartwarming comments – very very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ms Frances says:

    So beautiful. The photos and video are outstanding and beautiful. The icebergs are huge and they tell me that most of the iceberg is below the water. So interesting that the captain came to talk to you and tell of his adventures. The grey clouds add an extra flavor to the scene. Vincent van Gogh always has something good to say.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I was determined to get those photos and videos, Frances. I hung on to the side rail and held my breath. The wind and sea mist were exhilarating, but the most profound experience was my conversation with the captain. It is a reminder that acts of kindness and compassion are long remembered and treasured.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Gorgeous post inspired by your trip to my fair province, Rebecca! The icebergs you shot are spectacular. I hope your sea-sickness didn’t spoil your tour too much. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Jennifer, I am forever grateful for the seasickness. Without that momentary discomfort, the captain would never have stopped by for a visit. The icebergs were spectacular, but the conversation with the retired fisherman will stay with me forever. It was a story of transitions and redemption, of memories and new opportunities. Hope all is well on your side of Canada. So glad that I made the trip to Newfoundland last year.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That doesn’t surprise me how the captain engaged you in conversation. Newfoundland has an overabundance of storytellers, and stories of a life spent at sea are some of my favourites.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother says:

        I picked up a book on Newfoundland stories and am fascinated by how Newfoundlanders have kept the stories from the other side of the Atlantic alive. What was so heartening, was the kindness shown to me by the Captain. That will be long remembered.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nothing like the human touch of kindness.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary Jo Malo says:

    The wonderful palette in this video and these photos is breathtaking. The cold grays, whites and blues against the browns of the earth are beautiful. What an adventure! Truly majestic, so thank you for sharing. My motion sickness doesn’t affect appreciation of this medium 🙂 I’m so glad you travel and let us in on your journeys!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Mary Jo. When I was creating the video, I felt that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes with the movement of waves. I should have known that there are many definitions of the the word “calm” – YIKES. This was indeed an adventure, one that I had looked forward to for many years, but I did not know that I would have the honour of being in conversation with a sea captain who had experienced the life of a fisherman. I will never forget the stories nor will I regret the momentary discomfort of being seasick for it led to a greater narrative. It is a reminder to me that some journeys begin with pain and disappointment, which is all part of the human experience. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I was immediately struck by the color palette as well. I was also surprise by the sculptural quality of the icebergs.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. J.D. Riso says:

    That captain was an angel. Seasickness is awful. You were entitled to feel down because of it. I’ve had a few such adventures that were pretty much ruined because of migraines. Icebergs are always such an otherworldly sight.💙

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Acts of kindness and compassion are never forgotten and become a part of our personal narrative. Migraines! Yikes! They are unpredictable and come at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. So glad you joined me – always enjoy your company.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I concur with your other readers about the remarkable gift you’ve given us with this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      What a wonderful comment to read just as I head into sleep! thank you so much!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Rebecca! I you had a good restorative sleep.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother says:

        Wide awake and ready to take on the world….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wearing a very stylish jacket, I reckon!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Liz says:

    What an amazing story, captured so beautifully in your words and images. I have enjoyed the tranquility of your video while sitting with my morning cup of oolong – the perfect match. And I can’t stop looking at those amazing colours – especially the blues in the icebergs contrasting with the sea and sky. Stunning!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      So glad that you joined me on this rocky adventure. Even as I was looking at the videos, there was a mild feeling of seasickness. I must get my sea legs!!! I was thinking of your mother, Joan, when I looked at the colour transitions between grey, green, greenish blue and white, at imagining how you would paint the horizon. What I have found over the course of our weeks in “solitude” aka lockdown, is how much we miss by simply not stopping, even for a moment, to consider our surroundings – the colour, textures, aromas, warmth. Which reminds me, I have just located the audiobook “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth Von Arnim which is all about going to Italy and languishing in the garden filled with flowers and sunshine.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Liz says:

        One of my favourite artists, Wilhemina Barns-Graham has an amazing series of ‘glacier’ works – have a google and you will see what I mean – such a perfect match with your pictures. And I can’t believe your mention of The Enchanted April – I remembered only yesterday that it was a book I wanted to read and downloaded the Kindle version. Serendipity in full swing once again!! Hugs to you all 🤗 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This looks like a very fun tour. Was it the first time you saw icebergs?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      The first time, Virginia. Newfoundland had been on my “bucket list” for a long time. It was worth the wait. Thank you for stopping by and joining me on this adventure.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Looks majestic and gorgeous!
    However, I would not go to cold places.
    We’ve been to Newfoundland, but that was in summer and it still wasn’t too warm.
    I think they have waves always. When we were traveling on ferry, lots of people were sea-sick. It was some kind of storm. Thankfully, I never get these issues, so, I was just crawling around some safer parts of decks.
    It is a great adventure, though. It’s probably also scary to see an iceberg so close.
    Very interesting post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      We arrived in May and the winds were very cold, especially at Signal Hill. But what a view of the city. The horizon went on forever. Even on the calmest of days, there is so much energy in the ocean’s surface. I can understand the feeling of independence that was expressed by the Captain. But I would need to get my “sea legs” before going out again. Traveling with icebergs is an unforgettable experience. Thanks for stopping by – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved this story Rebecca…by a wonderful coincidence I had been reading a graduation speech in which the speaker talked about kindness, rather than ambition and aiming high etc!
    Then to read your story, the beauty, and the kindness, and the wonder of life was perfect.
    I know how you feel about sea-sickness, first experienced on a month long voyage to the Far East at fifteen..but if it’s any comfort, great sailor Nelson was always sea-sick when he first went back to sea after shore-leave ! XXXXXXXX

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments, Valerie. And here is another instance of serendipity: In my mediation this morning the idea of kindness came up in the guided discussion. The strength of kindness has always been underestimated, even considered a sign of weakness. In a world that is longing for peace, kindness must prevail – not only to others but to ourselves. I did not know that the great Lord Nelson has spells of seasickness. And consider how much time he spent on ships. Hugs and love coming back your way!! Take care and be well.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Rebecca, thank you for including us in this beautiful voyage. The photos are stunning, despite your seasickness. How marvelous to have that conversation with the captain. What stories he must have to tell. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Teagan! I am delighted that we connected and am looking forward to our conversations. There are so many stories that are held safe in the folds of history – it is wonderful that there are times when we have a peek into the past. Hugs flying back with all speed and energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Resa says:

    Oh, Rebecca!
    What a beautiful treasure you have posted here.
    In your video, the ice inspired images, like clouds do.
    I saw a snail, an armadillo, a lion and a Pegasus.
    You share the best things in life, and so did the captain when he wrapped you in a blanket.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You have a wondrous imagination, Resa. Isn’t it interesting that we may start out on one adventure and end up on even a better, more memorable one? I will always remember the warmth that came from a blanket kindly given. Many hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jean-Jacques says:

    Your pictorial tribute to nature’s breath taking and dangerously beautiful ice sculptures are indeed spectacular. I say dangerous for in another life, a long ago sailing one, I’d been up close a few times to them, and was never unhappy when the distance between us had increased to a comfortable distance… Great pictures!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am with you on that thought, Jean-Jacques. We were close enough. Someone asked if we could get closer to the iceberg and the answer that was given was a very polite NO!!!! So glad that you enjoyed the pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is a beautiful post. I have your blog bookmarked so I can dip in each day. But it’s not just the images here, it’s what you are saying

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Resa Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.