I pull a hat over my ears and put on my coat, done up to the high neck, and wrap my fingers in possum gloves, then goretex. The stars are bright and beautiful, with the sky finally dark. I walk to the bow along a slippery deck, hanging on to the shrouds.
So many mountains and we are between them: bright white peaks and night-time, shadowed peaks, rows of peaks like bright, triangular teeth. Tipped with red, like nipples; and white, white as ghosts. These mountains are not vague, not nebulous, they are arctic mountains clad in nothing. The sea slips by quickly, grey, as though it doesn’t want to be asked anything.
And back to the night, in which the stars are dancing, flashing, falling. The Milky Way is almost everywhere. Meteors splash their way down. The northern lights lie to the south, moaning and stretching in a long, haunted line.
I look down at the water rushing by the hull. Amid the foam and curling swell I see a bright blob of light flow by! – and another, and another! luminous jellyfish…and it feels like a sign. I clamber into the cabin to tell people, and soon the deck is full of quiet clusters of people, looking down into the water. The oohs and aahs please me. The night is a freezing cold, moving, sloshing gift. We motor on past St Jonsfjorden, Kongsfjorden, then beyond Prins Karls Forland and into open sea, towards Magdalenefjorden.