Storfjord
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 20 May 2022

Storfjord, 5/20/2022, National Geographic Resolution

  • Aboard the National Geographic Resolution
  • Arctic

The silky waters of Storfjord, softened by a smooth layer of fast ice in front of Kapp Lee, seem to be calling us. In the early morning light, we make our way to the outer decks of National Geographic Resolution.

The ship is still. The expedition team scouts the frozen horizon with their binoculars, looking for the presence of life in the infinite absence of the Arctic Sea.

We may not set foot on land this morning: too much ice. By ship, we cover a few nautical miles until we enter the narrow channel of water and ice between the islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya: Freemanshundet. We observe a walrus, resting on a bed made of sea ice.

We make our way through heavy brush ice and, as we proceed eastward, the sun starts to shine, fighting its way among silky clouds. As we turn back west, we spot a majestic polar bear walking by the shoreline of Barentsøya. We observe him as he peacefully climbs on top of a cliff and then continues his endless wandering in the Arctic immensities. Sharing a few moments of our life with this animal who makes his living in such a hostile place makes us even more aware of our inner voices, the voices that first invited us to join this expedition.

The plan for the afternoon is to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and head towards the east coast of Spitsbergen. We will come by it at the height of a bay called Agardhbukta. Here we spot a polar bear walking on fast ice in the distance.

We plan to go for a walk on the ice, but as the scouting team is getting ready to get out of the ship, a thick layer of fog takes possession of the beautiful spot we found, preventing us from proceeding with our plans.

We then stay onboard enjoying a couple of beautiful presentations by members of the expedition team.

As the evening goes by, we enjoy a beautiful session of recap and a good briefing by our expedition leader, Stefano Pozzi. We are now heading south, as we want to explore the western side of Spitsbergen in the next few days.

As we make our way across big ice floes, our thoughts go to the joys of this unique day. Suddenly we realize it’s over. The feeling of peace and quietness leaves space for the doubts and the unknowns of tomorrow. We don’t want today to end. As we hit another ice floe, our thoughts shake with the ship. We look out of the windows. The sun is still there. We have nothing to worry about. The night won’t come.

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