At Sea, Jan Mayen and East Greenland

Jun 22, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

Sea days on the National Geographic Explorer have a temperament all their own. It’s a slower pace on board, with a relaxed atmosphere that stands in contrast to our busy days when we have operations off the ship.

For staff like myself, the day usually begins in the mudroom, for a quick check of “the board”, a white board that holds all the duties and timings of our day. Is there a meeting? Who will write the DER (Daily Expedition Report)? Who has been assigned to host a table tonight?

With a fresh cup of coffee, I make my way to the bridge. Before 0600, it’s still quiet, and Magnus our Ice Pilot is finishing up his shift, printing the morning ice charts, plotting our position and preparing to brief his relief, the Chief Mate.

Guests wander in and out, and Expedition Leader Lucho makes the morning wake up call on the PA system – the day has officially begun.

A few whales are spotted through the morning fog. The Captain arrives and his handed a cup of coffee by the watchman. He will be busy today charting the miles of pack ice that floats between us and the coast of Greenland.

As the day progressed, the fog hung around the ship like a faithful dog, unwilling to leave us. It was a day to attend some great presentations by the naturalists, download some photos, check emails and enjoy the nearby fulmars celebrating a new-found fame thanks to Tom Ritchie’s recap last evening.

After dinner, the fog lifted just as we approached the entrance to the mighty fjord of Scoresby Sund, and everyone gathered on deck to see the towering cliffs of Cape Brewster and some huge icebergs shrouded in fog.

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About the Author

Doug Gould

Expedition Leader

Travel and adventure were an integral part of Doug’s upbringing in a small town on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Growing up on the Great South Bay, his family claims Doug learned to sail before he learned to walk. Whether it was camping, sailing, birding, traveling across country or spending most of fifth grade living in Europe, Doug’s formative years left him with a love of wildlife, the outdoors, and a desire to keep moving. 

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