Jun 06, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
This morning we were on the west side of Edgeoya Island, near the entrance of the very massive Storfjorden. At this point the fjord is about 50 kilometers wide. The sky was gray and the wind was moderate—essentially we were in the open sea. The plan was to make a landing on Edgeoya. But Landing A had too much swell; there was too much sea ice pushed up against the beach for Landing B to work; and so it was onto an entirely different plan, Plan C: a search for megafauna.
There was a lot of fast ice to the north in Storfjorden, according to our ice charts, so we streamed north into ice and occasional fog, seeing seals, many seabirds, some walruses sliding off ice, and a distant mother polar bear with her small cub. The ice was thin, its edges broken—too thin, too broken—and it seemed a little early in the season for this. We pushed on, sometimes almost silently, at other times with the sound of ice sliding down our hull. Meanwhile, there were lectures, scrumptious meals, and a special teatime.Out on the deck, during a lecture, the hotel/galley team was preparing a BBQ. There would be lomitos and red wine. Lomitos are small sandwiches made with lomo, more or less the tenderloin cut of Argentine beef. The beef is from grass-fed cows who are always walking. Our hotel manager, Patrik, said that while the meat’s delicious, it’s a little tough, so he beats it a bit, like abalone, before grilling it. It’s so worth the work! Out on the back deck, with a sandwich and red wine in hand, with friends and new acquaintances in the cold Arctic air, staring at the top of the ice and under the mountains, we can only wait for what is next, while enjoying what we have now.
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