The day started with an early call from expedition leader Lucho: polar bears straight ahead! Not one, not three, but five of them! A mother with two cubs and two other adults. They stayed at a decent distance from us, but we were treated to at least fifteen minutes of a beautiful behind as one of them dug into a carcass hidden in the snow near the shoreline.
We continued the morning with a beautiful landing at Cape Freeden, where the long hikers took on a fantastic beach cleanup, leaving a Zodiac half full of ghost nets. Visiting scientists Rachel and Brooke, who are both doing research on microplastics, shared a very inspiring and interesting recap. The cape is a beautiful hike with good views over Valhallfonna, the ice cap stretching over a big part of the area. The weather was gorgeous with just a slight breeze, and we enjoyed ourselves as we explored the cape.
The afternoon was spent with a Zodiac cruise at gorgeous Alkefjellet, and it was teeming with life! About 100,000 Brunnich’s guillemots filled the sky and the cliffs, making it difficult to get your voice heard at times.
As we cruised along the astonishing and impressive cliffs of the area, we were surrounded by the birds, and we were all astounded over how they could find places to make nests on these steep cliffs with little shelter from the wind. Birds are amazing. The glaucous gulls already had their chicks, and we spotted a few of the cuties amongst all the other birds.
Back on the ship, cocktails and recap awaited. This was followed by dinner and a movie with popcorn! Who can say no to that?!