As we approached Bear Island in the early morning, slowly working our way through thick fog and 25 knot winds, the island occasionally loomed through the white veil, giving us a tantalizing glimpse of this wild and difficult to reach location. Our planned anchorage at Sørhamna located on the southeastern side of the island was in direct line with the wind and swells coming from the south. Unfortunately, the great cliffs on the southern end of the island with their swarming bird colonies would have to wait for another day when the weather would allow us safe passage with the Zodiacs.

Instead of abandoning the day’s activities, the captain decided to circumnavigate the entire island, searching for possible shelter around the north end where a couple of commercial ships had chosen to shelter from the weather. As we rounded the northern shore, the fog banks rose to reveal a beautiful blue sky and calm water. Expedition leader Lucho and the captain made a snap decision to lower the Zodiacs and take advantage of the opportunity to explore the northeastern shore. This was a first for all.

It turned out to be a wonderful collection of small cliffs, bays, and coves dotted with nesting fulmars and occasional puffins. Guests on the cruise took in a couple of beautiful arches and small sea caves that were accessible by the Zodiacs, providing us with beautiful views and exciting moments. We made the most of the occasion in the sun and calm waters. When we could delay no longer, we slowly returned to the ship to continue to mainland Norway.

In typical expedition style, flexibility and patience rewarded us with a very pleasant morning and a new location to add to the many we love so dearly.