Yesterday, our journey to explore Iceland and Greenland began in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, under a typical glaucous blanket of sky. Clouds enhanced the sense of mystery surrounding the unseen rocky terrain and the people and culture inhabiting it. Embarking National Geographic Explorer late in the afternoon, we were welcomed to our home for the next two weeks. We had the mandatory safety briefings and orientations necessary for a life at sea.

Today, we were introduced to the diverse expedition staff. These individuals will serve as naturalists and guides for the voyage. We sailed into Breiðafjörður, or “broad fjord,” on the west coast of Iceland, spotting wildlife and broad vistas as we approached Flatey, the “flat island” near the head of the fjord. The weather had turned bright, sunny, and calm as we approached our first expedition landing; it was a beautiful summer day to begin our explorations.