Who Rocks?

Tags: Michèle Noach

Lying in my cosily-lit bunk last night off the coast from Kangerlussuaq, as the sea slowly rolled us around, it felt like being in a giant cradle, rocked by a patient, powerful hand. Our ship is a steady big ole affair with dashing (both senses) Russians, crewing like troopers. We’ve been fed a great, great deal of food and not yet had landfall as we’re trying to get to a specific place where the scientists can throw something over the side, but in a productive way. Science is so reassuring. And yet not. And we seem to already be growing fat.

We’ve had a day of lectures, visuals and conversations about climate change: the science, the apocalypse and the good news. Gallons of each (actually, bit less of latter) to mull and ponder and shape into something useful. All the while remembering how to be practical in plan and grand in ambition. Tricky. This ship seems full of fast-breeder, original minds and cross-pollination is already in full, filthy congress. A sprawling, ideas-kicking friendly match. A kind of weather condition of thinking. In some ways the more ridiculous the ideas the better they seem, but that could be the lack of sleep. Extreme left-field thinking and trying to keep one’s pecker up in the face of colourfully illustrated catastrophe seems the ticket.

At this point we’re just trying to jam ourselves full of the expert knowledge available on board in the form of architects, oceanographers, geoscientists, youth activists, wildlife guides and climate change advisors. Lots of objective data too, so it’s not just a mutual terror-fest of people frightening each other into paralysis.

We spotted our first icebergs today and we’re headed North towards Disko Bay. We cross the 69th parallel and my, isn’t it not very cold? The light is silver and the coastline purple with foggy lacework. Northern painters, I see, painted what they saw.

The situation regarding the rapidly-melting glaciers was depicted in Ant and Bee clarity as we flew over Greenland and peered like children out of our prop-plane windows. Glacier after glacier, chalk-white ribs feeding into the spine of a mighty glacier all emptying out into the waiting, warming, expanding sea, were a textbook Fig.A of what’s happening. It’s always happened, it’s just revving into fast forward right now. This sea, this 72% of the Earth’s surface, this moody muscular elemental force, keeping its
powder dry for now.

I keep thinking of the saying: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.


  1. john noach

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 00:44 | Permalink

    hi R and m just to say why are we in london instead of exciting rocking cradle. Hope all is well and thinking of you both. Will follow your progress with envy! LOL J and S

  2. Naomi Leaver

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 13:20 | Permalink

    Hi Michele
    Iam a friend of Tony C’s. We have been following you all via the website. Very envious of the creativity and thinking that must be going on. Well, jealous really.Shall following you all.

  3. Scott McCaughey

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 15:55 | Permalink

    Hi Michéle — It sounds like a Fantastic Voyage so far (with you as Raquel Welch?). As the bergs get bigger you’ll no doubt feel smaller. Love to read your past posts but for some reason having difficulty negotiating the site in that regard. Anyway, will try to keep up daily, as it just seems quite amazing, and of course, you do have a way with words. Love from a very windy but sunny beach, Scott

  4. coope

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 17:04 | Permalink

    Hey Michele, greetings from Macclesfield! Your pa has been keeping Georgie and me updated on what sounds like the most amazing trip. Will hook in for vicarious excitement on regular basis xxx coope

  5. Tony Clarke-Ears-Worboys

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 17:51 | Permalink

    Dearest Chums Min & Robyn,Wow, what a fantastic expedition for all,to be on, as you have each other to ‘bounce off’, if you get my snow-drift. I hope that we non Polar Bears will see on-air sometime, some full length footage of your collective events and happenings. And what a collection you all are. A safe passage to you all on board The Gregory Mikheev .For now, Bon Voyage.
    Heaps of ice melting love, Opps, there’s a conundrum.
    Tone Clarke-Ears-Worboys

  6. laurence arnold

    Posted Tuesday 30 Sep at 18:26 | Permalink

    Hi M (and R)

    lovely post. good to see you on that video, harvesting the poppy.

    take care in the frozen north, even if it’s not as frozen as it should be.


  7. Lyn Feist

    Posted Tuesday 30 Sep at 19:11 | Permalink

    Looks like you had lots of fun at the disco.

    Great to see your face. What an adventure you are on. I am checking the website daily…GREAT site. Wish I was there.

    Love Mom

  8. Joanna Graham

    Posted Wednesday 1 Oct at 13:14 | Permalink

    Visual evidence of artic plants to date suggest they snuck a look over your shoulder and modelled themselves on your work. Given your fond feelings for these flowering, berrying, oh-so-delicate things it seems doubly fitting you should bag ’em.

    Home thoughts from a broad – the weather is morphing into some form of Autumn and the pavements are littered with brown sticky stuff ( sticks ).

    Oh and Capitalism is broken. A whole bunch of people are running round trying to fix it, but I’m not sure they’re gonna …

    Sending love to you and to Neptune

  9. Dan Harvey

    Posted Thursday 2 Oct at 16:21 | Permalink

    Michele, So you found your poppies! Great – saw the film clip of you bagging one – just thought I´d mention -although I´m sure you know.it just looked as if it got shacken alot whilst picking and that the poppy seeds fall out very easily – so make sure you empty the seed heads into a bag as well.
    Hope and am sure your having a great time. It is such an opposite to the place that I am at the moment!! This city is crazy – dirty – and not really where I want to be. Problems also with the projection but I think / hope we are getting there.
    Look forward to seeing you all on return.
    Take Care and breath some freash air for me – my lungs need it!
    lots of Love to all.
    Dan xx

  10. Mark Ellen

    Posted Friday 3 Oct at 09:46 | Permalink

    Michi, terrific (b)logs from you and RH, also very good from Marcus B I
    thought. And the photo of Jarvis and Martha W is phenomenal. Loving the
    Jarvis beard. I’m hoping I can use the odd photo we’re seeing on these blogs
    but could you see if you could get a) a good quality shot of Jarvis alone
    with an Arctic backdrop – for a drop-in photo on the cover – and b) one of
    all the musicians together, again with a white/ snow/ice background if poss
    (are Feist and Laurie A onboard too? I think so). Lots of love, MARK PS
    Hello fellow comment-posters John, Jo and Scott!