The day dawned with clear skies as we passed by Kap York and entered iceberg-filled Dead Fjord, which is surrounded by dozens of glaciers, and filled with some very large icebergs. After breakfast we lowered our fleet of aquatic limos and set off for Zodiac rides around the fjord. Keeping a safe distance away from the bergs, we could observe how many had partially or completely rolled over by looking at the old “shorelines” and the dimpled surfaces showing where parts of the berg were melting underwater.
We also learned that this was an area where polar explorer Robert Peary had traveled. Peary is thought by many to have been the first to make it to the North Pole on April 6th, 1909. On nearby Meteorite Island he found a large 31-ton meteorite piece which he eventually transported to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The iron from this meteorite has a characteristic composition (7.8 percent nickel) and is identified as the source of much of the iron used for tool-making by the ancient Thule people.
In the afternoon we began sailing further south and enjoyed two lectures. Naturalist Serguei Ponomarenko told us about the many places he has studied in the Canadian Arctic and our Global Perspectives Guest Speaker and former astronaut, Kathy Sullivan gave us a presentation on the “New Space Age,” where we learned about upcoming exploration and new frontiers in space.
After dinner we enjoyed feedback on guest photos from photo instructor Doug Gould, and National Geographic photographers David Doubilet and Jen Hayes.