This morning, we woke up in a foggy Romer Fjord. It was a typical fall morning for Eastern Greenland; however, we have been very lucky with sunny and calm weather on almost all our previous days, which is quite unusual for this time of the year. A gloomy vertical cliff exposing layer after layer of flood basalts was on one side of the fjord, and the top of this cliff was hidden in the low clouds. Another side of the fjord was covered with piles of rocks left by an Ice Age glacier. One small hill on that side of the fjord was quite distinctive in color, greener and greyer than the rest of the landscape, which was predominantly brown. As we learned later, a thermal hot spring was running from the top of that hill. A little distance below the top, the spring water accumulated in a pool. Three activities were offered in the morning, including a long hike, a free, ambient walk within a large perimeter, and for the most adventurous guests, bathing in the thermal pool.
Today was the coldest so far during our expedition. Some snowflakes were flying almost horizontally, carried by a strong wind from the west. Towards the end of the morning activities, a polar bear was spotted along the shoreline across the bay. Lunch was delayed, and a Zodiac cruise was available for guests to see the polar bear. Nine Zodiacs were put on the water, and we slowly approached the polar bear. The polar bear was eating something along the shore, probably a dead bird, and didn’t pay much attention to the quiet Zodiac fleet. The thin male bear had clearly fasted for a long time. Luckily, a number of harbor seals were present, and a thin layer of fast ice was already forming in the end of the fjord after a few cold nights. This means that the bear will have a good chance for a successful hunt very soon. After everyone was back onboard, the ship started making her way towards Iceland across the Danish Strait.
Two presentations were carried out during the afternoon. Naturalist Jamie Coleman spoke about polar bears, and Global Perspectives guest speaker Kathy Sullivan discussed the future of space exploration.
After dinner, we had a “Know Your Naturalist” party. Each naturalist provided a fun fact about his/her life, and lists of these facts were given to the guests before the party. The guests had to guess which fact belonged to which naturalist. It was a lot of fun, and the naturalists’ stories were interrupted by frequent bursts of laughter.