Posted by: tim ellis | July 27, 2016

Svalbard – Wedneday 27th July 2016 – Boltodden

Boltodden
A rather foggy morning when we first get up, although clearing slightly after breakfast, allowing us to go ashore (although the “Long Walk” is cancelled).  The “Medium to  Short Walk” sets out along the beach past Red Throated Divers and an abandoned hut to see Eider and Long-Tailed Ducks.  Some people then return to the ship, while the rest of us (joined by the “Medium to Long” walkers set off in the opposite direction to see some wind-carved rock formations, encountering Snow Bunting, Purple Sand Piper and Long Tailed Skua on the way.  All in all quite a long walk with a bit of a climb involved!

 
Snow Bunting - Boltodden

Hannah announces at lunch that we will be later arriving at this afternoon’s location than orriginally envisaged, so she will allow us an “Offical Afternoon Nap”.

 

The fog has been on and off all day , and is quite close again at Hamburgbukta, so we will just be zodiac cruising rather than landing. The cruise is best described as “Atmospheric”  – visibility is quite low – we do find a Bearded Seal on an iceberg, but he slips into the water and vanishes before anyone can get close enough for a good view. Even the glcaier is elusive in the fog, and it is only thanks to the GPS readings that we can find the ship again on our return.  Expedition time and the ships timetable have not meshed well this afternoon – the bar staff were laying out tea when we left, and have tidiesd it away before we return!
Kittiwakes

There is more entertainment after dinner (by which time either the fog has lifted, or we have sailed out of it) when a call suddenly comes over the intercom that several large Whales have been sighted.  It turns out to be a large group of Fin Whales, maybe 15-20 animals, all feeding around the ship, including one that occasionally shows us tail flukes.
FIn Whales

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