What a whale of a day we had! We set our clocks back one hour the night before and were looking forward to a bit of a lie in this morning, but the sea had a different idea for us! We were roused by the voice of our Expedition Leader, who let guests know that two blue whales were spotted off the bow. Jumping out of bed and pulling on the closest layers, people burst out of their cabins, bleary-eyed but excited with binoculars and cameras in hand. Trekking up to the bow and bridge, we were all delighted to see two of the largest animals to have ever lived on earth as they surfaced.
Throughout the day, we enjoyed wonderful talks given by our natural history staff. Hafsteinn Sæmundsson shared stories of Viking journeys to North America. Amy Malkoski serendipitously talked about the whales at the edge of the Arctic, and it was a treasure to hear about the incredible journeys of Peter Hillary, who hiked to the highest peaks on the seven continents and at the poles.
While there was much to see and learn inside, there was even more action in the waters around us on our crossing of the Denmark Strait. We hugged the ledge of the continental shelf; it is the perfect place to spot deep-water cetaceans. Early birds were treated to short-finned pilot whales, blue whales, and sperm whales. Later in the day, we even saw sei whales!