Kapp Lee & Eastern Spitsbergen

Jun 14, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


There’s nothing quite like the sounds and smells of walrus in the morning! Guests began their day with a short (and wet!) Zodiac ride to Edgeoya, the second largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. On the beach, approximately 20 male walruses were basking in the sun, making loud grunting noises but seemingly undisturbed by our presence. According to the naturalists, the female walruses and their pups were absent because they typically spend their time further northeast of where we were located. What a treat to be so close to these enormous marine mammals.

Staff members left the ship by Zodiac to scout out an area for guests to explore, but quickly determined it would not be possible due to the quicksand-like mud that caused one naturalist to sink in up to his knees. This didn’t dampen the spirits of the guests though. Shortly after, a mama bear and her cub were spotted frolicking across the ice. The young cub entertained the guests by belly flopping into the water and then chasing after its mom.

Our evening ended with a performance by members of the crew who refer to themselves as The Spice Boys. They played popular songs while the guests danced and continued to get to know each other. Another great day in the Arctic has come to an end!

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About the Author

Stefanie Frump and Leticia Ingram: 2019 Grosvenor Teacher Fellows

Stefanie Frump and Leticia Ingram: 2019 Grosvenor Teacher Fellows

About the Photographer

James Coleman

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jamie is from England. He grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, yet somehow decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and volunteering in various roles on nature reserves and in aquariums. It was no surprise that in 2007, he left home to study marine biology at the University of Newcastle.

About the Videographer

Ashley Karitis

Video Chronicler

Ashley was raised in the foothills of the Cascade Range in Central Oregon. After childhood careers in ski racing, equestrian sports, classical piano, and summer jobs on a dude ranch, she emerged as a unique hybrid of adventuress, hobby farmer, and storyteller. 

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