Wintery Vestmann – Approaches in Argentic
It’s time for the storms. I get outside my building well bundled in layers upon layers of thick Icelandic wool (In French, we would use the word “se saucissonner”: literally “to wrap oneself in tightly like a sausage in its drying net”… What a sweet reference from home!). My little Golf is buried chilled under a meter of snow, her dreams of roaming the countryside during the whitest hours of the year grounded to a halt.
There is a steady breeze from the South , just enough nip to prick the skin into pinky cheeks and gnaw at unprotected finger bones. Over the coast, in the distance, a couple of stray cumulonimbi are spraying their path East, a veil of silvery powder obscuring today’s route. Thanks to a much-awaited climatic stand-still, the friend I am back-seating today will be honing his instrument flying skills before his final skill test. For this purpose, he will be taking us to the dramatic Vestmann islands, a volcanic archipelago just off the South coast of Iceland.
Practising approaches under a sky of steal, black cushions weaving our path to and away from our navigation aids, we seem to evolve in a world in argentic, colours drained to unravel metallic gleams.
The sky has cleared in the West, and we catch a glimpse of mount Keilir while descending on approach into Keflavík. The sky is purple and cobalt, and as we touch down after yet another one-engine inoperative approach, it goes all to winter black.