We are in a water world: freshwater rain, saltwater ocean, ice in the form of icebergs, sea ice, multiyear ice, and water particles in the fog and clouds that hide the horizon. As Captain Martin tells us, “You really learn how to drive a ship in ice because that’s where it’s really tricky.” The Bridge Team does an exceptional job.
The sea covers 71% of the Earth, containing 97% of all water on our planet. Life originally evolved out of the sea. As Rachel Carson explains in The Sea Around Us, “When they went ashore the animals that took up a land life carried with them a part of the sea in their bodies, a heritage which they passed on to their children and which even today links each land animal with its origin in the ancient sea. Fish, amphibian, and reptile, warm-blooded bird and mammal — each of us carries in our veins a salty stream in which the elements sodium, potassium, and calcium are combined in almost the same proportions as in seawater. This is our inheritance from the day, untold millions of years ago, when a remote ancestor, having progressed from the one-celled to the many-celled stage, first developed a circulatory system in which the fluid was merely the water of the sea.”
Following last night’s crew talent show (and a gloriously splendid iceberg lit by sunshine just off the starboard side for a finale), everyone was given a chance to sleep in and enjoy a midmorning brunch.
What better way to spend a rainy, stormy afternoon than by enjoying a series of provocative and exciting presentations, beginning at 1200 with Macduff’s, “The Very Question of Nature—A Cultural Context.” A Q & A was fielded by staff afterwards. At 1400, Brett gave a presentation of expedition diving, bringing along his underwater camera housing and flashes and a dry suit. We learned that Brett’s great-great grandfather was the sports fisherman and writer Zane Grey. Riders of the Purple Sage was his most popular book. At 1600, the photo team, Jeff and Macduff, answered questions about cameras and photography, followed by Kerstin’s presentation on “Male or Female: The Art of Sexing Polar Bears.” This was followed by recap and a splendid evening meal.
After dinner, Jeff and Macduff conducted their well-attended, second photo critique session of this expedition voyage. Even before they finished at 2200 as we neared Ísafjördur, we sighted the windswept, mountainous coastline of Iceland from the lounge.