Our cruise ship was on a roll as I used to often climb up to the top deck which was the sixth deck on the ship. It was the perfect place to gaze at icebergs, an exquisite view. With masses of ice shimmering like diamonds and blue sapphires gliding past me as the cruise navigated the grey and icy seas of Antarctica. Stretches and stretches of ice slates, fat and thin, floated in the sea. It was as if the ship was doing its own ice skating dance and that was the glory of my view from the deck.
Only one third of icebergs are visible from the top. The remaining two thirds is embedded deep into the sea. This is the unknown and invisible portion of the icebergs. At times, these icebergs towered over the sea and appeared as if they would almost climb on to the ship deck. Some icebergs had hollow caves drilled into them by erosion and carved through by sea water. These caves were indeed mystical in nature with stalactite and stalagmite icicles forming unique patterns on the mouth of each ice caves. There were thick slates of ice that were almost silent and dead to the movement of water.
You could see one or two seals lying lifelessly on the icy sheets. Occasionally, white birds that looked like seagulls would fly past me as quiet sparks of sea water would spray against my face from time to time. Floating through the icy slates was a unique feeling. As for vast stretches, you could only see white sheets of marble ice. It was like watching nature’s poetry in motion.
One lost the sense of time as days extended into days and the sun kept pace with it all. The other thrilling part of the day was the docking from the cruise. We were bundled in groups to be taken to the Antarctic shores in black hovercraft like jetties that would ski in the water. In this way, we could get a closer look and feel of the land mass of this beautiful content.
The sky would change from grey to blue and then to an orange hue with a pink border just as the icebergs floated past. It was a rare treat especially when there are no nights. Yes, Antarctica had daylight all through and that was even more thrilling. The first two days of the cruise were choppy and my roommate even puked. He needed some tablets and took medical assistance. He, however, left my room on the second day. I was, thus, fortunate enough to get the whole cabin to myself. I guess that was worth all the 9.75 lakhs that I paid for the trip.
But forever would be embedded the moments when I stared at icebergs from the deck.