We spent the day doing activities from National Geographic Endurance on the north shore of Coronation Gulf, Nunavut. The day began with fog rolling off the sea and onto land, but it did not interfere with any of our planned activities. In the morning, we had the opportunity to kayak, hike, or both. Kayakers paddled around the calm bay. They watched jellyfish in the water, looked at the granite cliffs, and spotted an arctic hare. Hikers went inland on Edinburgh Island across a lush tundra vegetation full of flowers, grasses, and short willows. They stopped to see several caribou antlers, bear and wolf scat, and the tracks of several animals. The guests even stopped to pick blueberries and learn about the tundra ecosystem from the naturalists. When they got to the tall Precambrian granite cliffs, they saw and heard peregrine falcons flying around. Each hiking group took the time to watch the adult falcon pair and their offspring fly, hunt, and sit on the cliff.
During the afternoon, we went on a series of hikes in Johansen Bay along the southern shore of Victoria Island. The long hikers went up the sandstone mountain to get magnificent views. The medium hikers went up the slope of the mountain to see the views, flowers, antlers, and other interesting sites. They stopped to see solifluction lobes, where soil crept down the slope like a lava flow as a reaction to the thawing of the permafrost. The photo hike and leisurely hikers went along the shoreline to see archeological sites, such as rock mounds and possible stone circles. Everyone got to see the last flowers of the season, including lupine and lousewort, as well as tundra plants that have gone to seed, such as cotton grass and mountain avens.
We all headed back to the ship for a well-deserved evening of happy hour, recap, and fine dining after an activity-filled day on National Geographic Endurance.