Quarter past eight in the morning here in Akureyri, and we’ll be throwing off the lines in about an hour or so, heading for the Shetland Islands. With that in mind, gonna fire one off the cuff here…

Appropriately enough for Sept. 1, the climb up the hill to the pool complex this morning was filled with signs of the imminent seasonal change as flocks and flocks of geese poured across the sky. All V’ed up and honking merrily along, the flocks continued in a steady stream overhead while I took a final swim/hot tub (the slide was closed…dammit!).

Yesterday, the local youth nordic ski team was doing dryland training on the long stairway leading up the hill to the church overlooking town. And the woman in the tourist office at the harbor said that her shop would be closing after the visit of the final cruise ship of the season on Friday.

And now, sitting in the town square just off the harbor, the high overcast obscures the sun in a way that portends snow. It won’t, of course (not today anyway; after all, I’m sitting outside in the town square and am quite comfortable.

But like the geese this morning, Polar Bear and its crew will be headed south very shortly, the short northern summer having come to a close…the very definition of bittersweet.

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