We just spent an afternoon playing in and around EYOS’s other expedition yacht, the huge 285ft North Pole, which happens to be moored at A few hundred yards away in Cook Inlet. To our delight, it provides full time staff, as well as a range of jet skis, wakeboards, Seabobs, kayaks and scuba diving equipment.
After all of the above, I found myself walking towards Arctic P’s overstuffed lunch table when a crew member, seemingly innocently, mentioned “I think they’re It’s all on the top deck.” I nodded, and climbed up to find Stein Retzlaff – a photographer and videographer who had been documenting our trip – standing at the bow of the boat with the many stories above the water below. He was facing me, with his back to the water, and with the encouragement of a few others, he was already far below the water – he jumped up suddenly, arched his back, did a perfect backflip, and then Hitting the water below seemed forever.
Just seeing this gives me chills down my spine. I didn’t realize until then though: I’m next in line.
I am reminded of what our expedition leader, Ian Strachan, told me earlier about different types of fun. Level 1 fun is something fun when you do it; level 2 fun, though, is only fun when you think about it or tell someone about it. (There’s also a little-known third-level fun, which is something only other people find amusing, let’s leave that alone.)
We have level-one horror here, and- hope, In theory – secondary fun. I then thought back to how I had imagined this almost otherworldly trip long ago, on paper—in short, as something to witness rather than experience. I put everything else out of my mind, closed my fists and eyes, and jumped.
I skipped the backflip though. I mean: why show off?