Monday, 20 April 2015

Greenland 2011

A land no longer

The day the air turned black

Volcanic explosions
 In the summer of 2011, the Northern hemisphere was rocked by a volcanic explosion in the Greenland ice fields; only 18 months earlier, I flew over the area on my way to Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada.
 Some of the pictures on this post can never be taken again. This is part of the area which exploded, and grounded the air traffic that day, and for weeks afterwards.
 Mathematical equations
There is an equation which you can work out with the data - I am not that clever - we were flying at 1,4000 above sea level, and it took us 3/4 of an hour to get across the ice fields from Greenland to the Canadian mainland.
Flying across the ice fields gave me a sensation of isolation; my thoughts went to, if we crashed - apart from my migraine, I would suffer from Snow blindness - a condition similar to drivers who get caught in a white-out. Very similar to heat stroke in a desert. You start to think you see things which aren't there, and doubt things which are. This was one of things which caused the deaths in Sir Robert Falcon Scott's expedition. My story was inspired by a piece of music I heard on Landscape TV. The music was the background to a video of a small plane flying over Manchester; I thought, "What if the plane vanished in front of all those witnesses? Without leaving any traces." As usual, my stories rarely end up where they were intended to, and Nerja became an Amazon 5 star rated Native American short story.

Glacier of Death
 Flying over the ice fields, and seeing the vast, desolate plains filled with nothing but ice, and the occasional scree trail. I got the idea of a rescue mission set against a very limited time line. Limited by the time a person could survive in the icy cold, the fuel of the rescue plane, and the window of visibility. The story which became a Kobo best seller based on the Yellowknife oil fields.

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