The Northwest Passage by Kayak
A step into the unknown
Excerpt from "Arctic Passenger »
Editions Locus Solus – 2016
... I turn around one last time, the small wooden houses of the hamlet take a long time to disappear in the mists. In front of us the blue horizon opens up, space suddenly expands. I rediscover the singular scent of departures, to which is added the impression that suddenly the light is stronger, the colors more dazzling. However, all around us, the waters still laden with alluvial deposits have an unappealing brownish tint and a nauseating odor which sometimes irritates our nostrils. But we don't care. In a few hours, the Mackenzie River Delta will be far away and the Beaufort Sea will take over, welcoming for long days ahead, our rhythmic pace.
We have no idea of our tomorrows. We don't know what will happen in the hours to come, but already, time no longer counts. The state of joy that is mine transports me to an elusive sphere and I have all the difficulty in the world concentrating on the paddle to keep my balance, in the heart of the powerful current that is carrying us north. For a brief moment, I envy Raphael, whose solar-powered kayak does not require extreme vigilance on his part. He circles around me with disconcerting ease, and the wide smile that splits his face says a lot about his happiness to be here. He discovers the power of the place while I rediscover it, amazed to find there these subtle alchemies that had already seduced me...