Cape Fear

Tags: Lori Majewski

Lori Majewski

A gorgeous sunset has painted the Arctic pink. Singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has romantically referred to the scene as a “bonfire on the horizon.” But I am not fooled by her beauty: These are dangerous waters, and Cape Farewell does not want to give the impression that this is a pleasure cruise.

There are constant reminders. Like, when I went out to take photos of the “bonfire,” I was the only one on the side of the boat. If I’d fallen overboard into the icy waters, I’d have a mere minute of survival time before suffering certain death from the cold.

There’s talk on board that it was here, in the North Atlantic — in the freezing Disko Bay — that the Titanic went down. Now that I’ve experienced it, I’m amazed that there were any survivors at all. I can barely manage more than 10 minutes in the diminishing daylight before I have to head inside to warm my hands around a mug of tea.


The first thing we heard this morning was KT Tunstall’s soothing Scottish voice delivering the wake-up call over the intercom. However, the first thing we saw was a city of icebergs so enormous they made yesterday’s look positively puny. I thought immediately of the word “awesome” — but not the adjective that has been overused by Americans since the 1980s. More like AWEsome. I was full of awe indeed.

We soon prepared to go ashore. What awaited us there was . . . well, not much. No town. Just snow and ice, and, of course, beautiful vistas and scenery. But I was nervous — and seemed to be the only Cape Farewell passenger who was. I talked about my anxiety with one of the scientists who didn’t do much to quell my fear. “You are right to be scared,” he said. “This is an extreme environment.”

The fearless singer Martha Wainwright reminded me that “a superhero” would be accompanying us: Ludvig — a Greenlander who stands at least 6’4”, looks like a pumped-up, Point Break-era Keanu Reeves, and has harpooned whales. That offered some relief.

Still, I thought, even Ludvig is no match for Mother Nature, and let’s face it, she mustn’t be happy with us humans right now.


Back on the ship, David Buckland projects a giant crawling baby on to one of the icebergs. I interpret this as Mother Nature’s baby, and think about how mothers are almost always fiercely protective of their young. Is climate change Mother Nature’s way of taking back her planet –even if it means erasing the human race?


  1. John

    Posted Wednesday 1 Oct at 20:42 | Permalink

    It DOES look AWEsome!
    Great pictures and blogs!
    Appears to be a fantastic voyage so far.
    Keep posting.

  2. Peggy M

    Posted Sunday 5 Oct at 23:02 | Permalink

    Lori, Love reading the blogs and the photos are incredible! Looks like an incredible trip. Keep blogging.