Today we woke up surrounded by milk. The ship was positioned a short distance from a glacial cliff of the world’s fourth largest glacier called Austfonna, or Eastern Ice Cap. The fog was heavy but not very thick, and it radiated the sun’s light in all directions. The sun was just a pale disk. Just as naturalist and geologist Serguei Ponomarenko started his presentation “Glaciers and Icebergs,” the fog thinned out, and the presentation was interrupted by a magnificent view of the 80-meter-high (240 feet) glacial front cliff plunging in water under a perfectly blue sky. The ship started sailing along the 110-mile-long glacial front. The view didn’t last long. Half an hour later, we were surrounded by fog again, giving Serguei the chance to finish his lecture about glaciers after this wonderful opportunity to observe them.
The rest of the day was also foggy. Two additional lectures were presented, including “Sea Ice” by Jim Coyer and “Plankton” by James Hyde. It looked as if the day would be without operations when the fog lifted again in the late afternoon. Expedition leader Stefano Pozzi made a decision to move recap and dinner one hour earlier to allow time for an after-dinner Zodiac cruise at Kapp Lee on Edgeoya Island, home to a known haul-out of walruses.
The wind was brisk, about 12 knots, and guests experienced a spray of seawater as Zodiacs approached the haul-out site. They were rewarded with views of hundreds of animals on the beach and dozens swimming in water, often curiously approaching Zodiacs so that drivers had to back up. It was an excellent ending of the day!
Closer to midnight, guests enjoyed the brightly shining sun from the hot tubs as we ushered in the longest day of the year with views of rugged mountains on both sides of the ship.