During the night (such as it is, since there are 24 hours of light in Svalbard at this time of year), we came south along the west coast of Spitsbergen. Our morning began by looking for wildlife in the Krossfjorden system of fjords. We poked the ship into a relatively confined fjord called Fjortende Julibukta (14th of July Bay). We observed an amazing glacier at the head of the bay, also named 14th of July Glacier!
Later in the afternoon, National Geographic Endurance made its first landing of the new Svalbard season in Lilliehook Bay. Temperatures were in the teens, and the wind was gusting over 20 knots…just to make things interesting! The shoreline, covered in snow and ice, sparkled as if diamonds had been dropped on the beach!
After dinner, we struck pay dirt in the form of wildlife. We encountered a herd of Svalbard reindeer grazing on the snow-covered shoreline. While watching the reindeer, an Arctic fox ran down the beach wearing its full-on summer pelage…not a speck of white fur was visible! Just as the evening was winding down, three walruses graced us with their presence. They surfaced alongside the ship, eyeing us with curiosity and wonder.