As we arrived near the small archipelago of Bjornsund (Bear Sound) during breakfast, plan A was to offer expedition landing craft cruising. Our expedition leader decided to take advantage of the calm conditions to include our first chance for kayaking. Some guests opted for the expedition landing craft cruise instead. The weather cooperated, so all had a good morning exploring the shoreline of the small village on the island. Oystercatchers, common eiders, and a variety of gulls will make a fine start for our voyage bird list.

After lunch, the photo team gathered to provide some good tips on expedition photography. Just as the lecture finished and we broke into small groups for one-on-one questions, a call on the PA system announced, “Killer whales on the starboard side!” We didn’t need to be told twice, and soon everyone was out on deck enjoying a show by a small pod of killer whales that often got quite close to the ship. We observed at least two young individuals, and a mature bull, with his tall dorsal fin, guarded the pod.

The entire scene was punctuated by dozens of hungry gulls eager to snatch up some of the herring that the killer whales were eating. What a surprise when a large white-tailed eagle joined in the action, too!