Posted by: tim ellis | July 21, 2016

Svalbard – Thursday 21st July 2016 – Bear Island

Bear IslandThe boat is not rocking so much this morning, although there is till the occasional swell, and the weather is still grey, cloudy and damp with a fairly strong wind. These conditions have put us a bit behind schedule, but we plan to arrive on the sheltered side of Bear Island sometime around 10:00, where hopefully, the sea will be calm enough to allow for a zodiac cruise.

When we approach the Island it is shrouded in fog, which clear to allow us to see the impressive cliffs, but the wind remains too strong to allow the zodiacs to be deployed. As a result, we anchor for an early lunch, with the intention of cruising around the south side of the island on the ship. A plan foiled by the reappearance of the fog!
Northern Fulmar
In the meantime we are entertained by large numbers of Fulmar, flying past or sitting in the sea nearby. Obviously they hope we are a fishing boat, and are going to provide them with a free meal. The weather brightens up once we head North for Spitsbergen, becoming quite sunny again by late afternoon.
Humpback Whale
We are just finishing dinner when an announcement is made that there are Humpback Whales off the starboard bow. We have just passed them, but the captain is going to go around again giving us a second look. We congregate at the front of the ship and around the bridge, and are treated to the view of 4-5 whales swimming around feeding and giving us the occasional tail lob or flipper splash to keep the interest levels up!

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