Leaving behind Prins Christian Sund and the spectacular fjords of southern Greenland yesterday, we knew we were sailing into the teeth of a big weather system. With forecasts indicating wind gusts and waves, we appreciated expedition leader Russ’s planning and the bridge team’s work to navigate National Geographic Endurance through the Denmark Strait while keeping us in as favourable conditions as possible.

Fortunately, there were plenty of insightful talks to keep us busy. In the morning, special guest speaker Olivia McKendrick spoke on the Greenlandic culture in comparison with her experience working with Indigenous peoples in different parts of the world, and Jonathan Fuhrmann explained the workings of Greenland’s glaciers and its vast ice sheet. Meanwhile, the occasional northern fulmar flew past, serenely riding the powerful winds and living up to the species’ reputation as true ocean wanderers.

After lunch, National Geographic photo expert Annie Griffiths explained the “Ripple Effect,” or the driving motivation behind her photographic work with women around the world. Finally, expedition diver and archaeologist Carlos Garrandés explained the Vikings’ fabled expansion from their Scandinavian homeland across the North Atlantic towards Iceland, Greenland, and, ultimately, the distant shores of North America.

We had the chance to witness the outstanding stabilization system aboard National Geographic Endurance in action; the movement was far less than might be expected in inclement weather. At the evening recap session, Captain Oliver Krüß took the opportunity to share insights into some of the features that keep us not only safe but also very comfortable.

Photo caption and photographer: Watching the waves from the cosy Ice Lounge aboard National Geographic Endurance. Photo by Jon Fuhrmann