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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Exploring in zodiacs

(from the 23rd)

As we came into the last fjord, two polar bears had been spotted near the point. It was too late to get close then, so we left that until the morning zodiac trip.

We boarded the zodiacs soon after breakfast, to head back towards the point, but couldn’t see anything of the bears. If they were there (they were), they were hiding on a ledge or behind rocks in such a way that we couldn’t see them from the boats. Never the less, we had a great explore along the coast, and saw a Glaucus (?) gull kill a young kittywake on the wing, and then begin to eat it on the beach, right in front of us. Later we saw a group (is it a flock if they’re all on land?) of little purple sand pipers.

After lunch we boarded the zodiacs again, to head further into the fjord, to have a look at the glacier front. Apart from the usual attempt to photograph terns, that became a lovely encounter with a young harbour seal. It was basking on a flat, sloping rock, and it clearly liked the spot, because we spooked it off a couple of times, and each time it came straight back.

After dinner we up-anchored and headed back to the dock at Longyearbyen, the end of the trip. Made it there by about 9PM, so Cath and I and a few others decided to walk into town to have a drink or two at the bar. Needed a walk after ten days away from land.

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