It was a relaxing morning on National Geographic Resolution. We sailed through the predicted fog, had a chance to catch up on photo editing and conversation, and enjoyed the amenities of the ship. Some even strolled around the various decks to observe the Res.o.lu.tion Art Walk.
Midmorning, naturalist Eva presented on baleen whales. Using various photos and video footage along with her wealth of knowledge, it was an engaging and educational presentation. She shared some of the drone and whale tag footage from her research, giving us a real inside view into how we are learning more about these magnificent animals.
A bit later, National Geographic photographer MacDuff presented on how he became a professional photographer. It is a truly amazing life story. Around 11:11 a.m., our first sight of Jan Mayen and Beerenberg emerged from the fog before they were quickly tucked back into the clouds.
Bud shared details regarding hiking opportunities after confirmation of our landing on the western side of Jan Mayen. We madly wrote our postcards before lunch and departing the ship.
Once ashore, the 2,277-meter high, glaciated volcano of Beerenberg was fully visible, though foreshadowed by the hills at the landing site. This small island was first sighted by a Dutch whaler in the 1600s, but there is some dispute that the Vikings knew about this remote North Atlantic land many years prior.
Some headed to the satellite “gift shop” to purchase very unique Jan Mayen items. Only 40 ships are expected to visit this summer season, and we were blessed with favorable landing conditions. Many guests were ready to walk! We headed up the hill together. We made a short climb up the road, and the views of the volcano left us gasping for air (it wasn’t just the climb). After about two kilometers, guides Kerstin, Shell, and Tim diverted off the road and headed towards a small volcanic cone. The landscape was striking with patches of green vegetation against the dark volcanic stones. Olivine sand was pointed out and described by our geologist Tim, and we took a moment to talk rocks before making a small expedition around the cone to explore the island’s landscape. Some guests who still had energy to burn continued towards the meteorological station, and others chose to loop back to the landing where a dance of lenticular clouds was impossible to ignore. We had it all: sunshine, calm weather, and ample time. No one could have predicted just how fortunate we were to visit this small island only 34 miles long in the middle of the North Atlantic. The evening continued with a lively recap and dinner. The midnight sun burned on, and with the added time change and a day at sea, we relaxed and relished the moment.