In the morning, we woke up with contrasting weather around us. In front of us, in the direction towards Greenland, we faced a heavy curtain of fog. We were full of excitement to finally make it to east Greenland, the goal for many on board. To fill part of the morning as we cruised westwards, our resident “Bird Nerd” Jamie Coleman gave an insightful presentation on what it is like to work in one of the most remote environments on the planet. Most likely, it is not so different than working at the research station we saw on Jan Mayen yesterday.
As we continued westward just before lunch, we began to see the faint outline of a mountain peak rising above the fog in front of us. Within five minutes, the entire landscape changed. The wall of fog seemed to suddenly disappear, and we were greeted with a wonderful range of mountains, glaciers, and even some large icebergs in the water. The incredible moment only got better as we moved closer to the mouth of the fjord and spotted blows ahead. We saw three species of whales in one place, including four fin whales, a couple humpback whales, and one minke whale. It was a grand welcome to Greenland, and we couldn’t think of a better arrival.
We slowly cruised into the fjord, a place where possibly no cruise ship has ever gone before. Within moments, our expedition leader, Brent, spotted a polar bear sleeping on land! Within one hour, we observed three types of whales and a polar bear. After watching the bear for a bit, we continued into the fjord and picked a location for an afternoon hike. The sun was high, the sky blue, and life had given us a perfect day for our first excursion on shore in Greenland.
After dinner, we began navigating out of the fjord. Lo and behold, we spotted a mother and cub polar bear having a tasty snack up on the rocks! It was an incredible day and an amazing start to our time in Greenland.