Early risers were treated to beautiful views of Edgeøya, but by the time most of us were up we were surrounded by fog. The fog, which was created by warm moisture-laden air passing over the cold water and ice causing it to condense into small droplets, stayed with us for most of the rest of the day. This made it a bit of a challenge to find wildlife! Our expedition leader, Stefano, and our bridge team did their best to navigate us to some clear spots, but the weather gods thwarted us!
The fog did lift briefly as we approached some drift ice, and we were treated to some views of bearded seals. At another point in the day, the fog cleared just enough to give us a view of a beautiful fogbow, as well as a Brocken spectre and glory.
During the course of the day, our natural history staff were able to educate and entertain us. In the morning, I gave a presentation about the sea ice and icebergs that have surrounded us on the trip. Later, Jonathan Fuhrmann gave us an overview of the geological history and setting of the Svalbard archipelago, which helped us put the landscape into context. After lunch, Kerstin Langenberger discussed the problem of marine plastic pollution and the efforts being made to keep the coasts of Svalbard clean. Later in the afternoon, Jamie Coleman shared his passion for seabirds in the Arctic with us, opening our eyes to the natural history of many species seen on the trip.
We finished the evening with cocktail hour and an informative recap session, followed by a delicious dinner. Since the next sunset in Svalbard is not until mid August, late evening today will transition seamlessly into early morning tomorrow!