Thursday, June 23, 2016

Arctic Ocean | Photographs from a Flight

Quittinirpaaq National Park
Last week I was on a non-stop fifteen and a half hour flight from San Francisco (SFO)  on the west coast of the United States to Abu Dhabi. It was a day flight and left SFO at 9.40 am. I had a window seat and had fallen asleep soon after departure. When I woke up it was sometime in the afternoon. Most of the passengers were asleep and the plane was dark as the window shades were down. I got up and walked around the aircraft to stretch my legs and drank some water. It is important to walk on such a long flight. When I came back to my seat, I raised the window shade to look outside. What I saw staggered me!

The aircraft was flying over Northern Canada and heading towards the Arctic and it was crystal clear. We were at a height of around 35,000 feet above sea level even higher than Mount Everest (29,028 feet). The entire Arctic icecap could be seen. We must have subsequently flown over the North Pole.  

 It was a sunny afternoon and even from that height visibility was excellent. Despite seeing many of the highest mountains in the world in different avatars this view was really floored me!

I had an Iphone in my pocket and instinctively took it out and began to shoot through the window. I shot for the next half hour until clouds came in and obscured this brilliant panorama. 

When I started editing the photos on the Iphone later I found that the phone itself had identified some of the locations which I was not able to do - simply amazing and I have captioned them according to the Iphone!

The sad part of it was that the rest of the passengers continued to sleep and missed it all!

The flight path  from SFO to Abu Dhabi 

Our altitude at that time

Baffin Island

Ellesmere Island Nunavut

Ellesmere Island, Nunavut

Ellesmere Island

Quittinirpaaq National Park

From Google I found that this was the area where my photographs were taken - it was at the very edge of the Arctic Ocean. Please see the map below.

For some more information on the areas photographed above do visit



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