We started our day of expedition with a morning hike. We explored a desolated fjord with a beautiful glacier carved valley and amazing limestone formations. Crossing a stream, we saw a number of textures. Hiking to the top of the moraine, we looked down on the beautiful streams below us. What an exquisite view.
At lunchtime, we set sail for the beginning of our unknown crossing. How would the ice be? Would we pass? Only time would tell.
The water was just like a mirror, and the views were spectacular. In the middle of the calm, we spotted a heart-shaped blow. Suddenly, we were surrounded by bowhead whales. So many of them in all directions: feeding, resting, sailing. Magnificent!
Our hotel team prepared a special teatime with a wine tasting. The sun was out, and it was an incredible afternoon! As the ice edge was just coming into sight, we all wondered what it would be like. Our goal was to reach the Bellot Strait through a very narrow opening along the coast, and we needed to do it before the ice moved with the predicted southern winds that might close the entrance.
Just as we were about to reach the ice, we spotted a pod of belugas swimming along the edge. What a great moment, to have the opportunity to see these charismatic white whales of the seas.
At this point, it had just been a perfect expedition day with a great hike, amazing and rare wildlife sightings, sunshine, and gorgeous views. How can you top that? Well, there is nothing like an outstanding encounter with the master of the High Artic, the one and only polar bear! The bear came close to us to smell and scout, and it even stood up, almost like it was greeting us.