Cold Oceans: Adventures in Kayak, Rowboat, and Dogsled

Language: English

Pages: 296

ISBN: 144011207X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Cold Oceans recounts Jon Turk's expeditions to some of the most inhospitable regions on earth. Even after being shipwrecked off Cape Horn, stopped by ice in the Northwest Passage, and beaten back by Arctic blizzards, Turk has followed an irresistible urge to explore. Woven throughout the book is the deepening relationship between Jon and his frequent expedition partner, Chris Seashore, and the journey of self-discovery that the relationship fostered.

Finalist, Banff Mountain Book Festival.

"Turk's chiseled but understated prose is a marked asset in light of the often outlandish material that comes his way." Washington Post Book World

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welcome at his camp, he would advise us to leave tomorrow. The good weather that we were enjoying might not hold, and if the ice jam to the north broke up, the crossing would become dangerous or impossible. At breakfast the following morning, one of the field assistants mentioned that the crossing must be like a marathon. When I asked him why he made that analogy, he answered that Chris and I appeared to be building our carbohydrate levels for the event, just as marathon runners “carbo-loaded.”

experience in the North. I asked Chris why she wanted to come on the expedition. She answered, “I’ve been to Norway and I like the North. That lowangle sun bounces off the sea and earth and produces a special soft glow, it makes everything seem so peaceful. I’ve always wanted to go back.” I asked myself, “How well do I know this woman? ” We’d hiked in the desert, Nathan and Noey adored her, we’d skied and dodged a few avalanches together, we’d been lovers for a year. She wanted to go because she

on. About twenty species of ducks breed in the Mackenzie Delta, eiders, mergansers, harlequins, scooters, mallards, teals, and pintails are common. If you round a bend quietly, a mallard hen is likely to quack in alarm, feign a broken wing, and splash downstream, while her bewildered yellow chicks swim nervously into the weeds along the undercut bank, bumping into each other like billiard balls. Sandhill cranes paraded on their absurdly skinny legs. Swans, which mate for life, nuzzled each

smell of my body, uncertain what to say to the half dozen people who watched silently. A middle-aged woman named Rosie asked me to sit, offered me a cup of coffee, and introduced me to two older women who didn’t speak English. On the television, women in bikinis and muscle-bound men splashed through a tropical ocean singing and waving bottles of Pepsi. Meeka turned our anoraks inside out, shook them, and ran her fingers over the smooth white hide. Then she frowned and handed them to the two

waves matured. A steep wave lifted the stem of my kayak, I drifted sideways and cranked hard on the rudder to avoid broaching and capsizing. Then I surfed the wave until it broke across my back and the white foam rolled over the deck. I looked behind me to watch the next wave, but my body rotation disrupted my balance, so I faced forward and responded to the sound and feel of the water. As another line of white approached unseen, I heard a loud whoosh that was a new sound, like rushing air, not

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