Boat

Three weeks after The Esmeralda went to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean - three weeks of hauling our gear across the ice - we came across the boat. It was caught fast in the ice and was mostly ice itself. Its masts and tackle were grotesquely misshapen by the accumulation and its hull seemed more like an ice hill than a boat. We climbed aboard but could not force any of the hatches nor see any trace of its name or its crew.

We left the boat taking from it nothing but the hope that it signified that open water might be near. The irony of losing our own vessel to the ice only to find another that would never be free of it was not lost on us and I have thought of that ice-locked boat many times in the years since.

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