Ocean kayaking is a unique extreme sport that comes with extreme serenity. In the remote fjords and iceberg bays of Greenland that experience comes with additional tranquility. For me day one and two were everything, but tranquil.
There were meetings, meetings about having meetings, discussions, votes, conflicts, pretty much everything short of a whiteboard and donuts. Should we go left or should we go straight? Should we kayak in windy conditions or should we turn back? Are we there yet? Can we take a break? It sounded more like a road trip with the kids, which no mid-life person wants under any condition.
The arrival of Bal, Emily and Beni was a breath of fresh air at our first camp some 25km from the start. The last time I saw Beni was 3 years ago in the African bush wearing a pink polo shirt and holding a undoubtedly dead goat in his hands. He was about to cook.
This time Beni was holding a nearly dead cod. “Can someone please kill this fish? I’m a pacifist, I can’t do it”, proclaimed the Swiss engineer. Beni, who did his Swiss Army service by rebuilding a church in Cuba as a conscientious objector doesn’t kill goats or fish, but is well versed in the art of outdoor cooking. In fact Beni doesn’t go camping without fresh ingredients or his travel spice rack. He’s the guy to call if you ever run out of cinnamon on the frozen tundra or need a pinch of fenugreek on the savannah.
I didn’t know how well I’d get along with him since we never traveled together. But by building a campfire together, we soon discovered our shared passion for pyromania, which kindled a newfound bromance atop the permafrost.