(from the 18th, of course)

The day really didn’t start very well. I had a migraine that had come on around three AM, and the weather was bleak and the water lumpy and uncomfortable. Cath found me some aspirins, which I took, and then tried a cup of coffee. That turned out to be a bad idea: it had probably been sitting on the warmer from the day before and was even more awful than usual. Shortly after, I was sick. Made it to the toilet in time, so no harm done. Went up to the bridge to watch the proceedings from a comfortable and dry place. There was quite a bit going on: first observations of the land bear, then up-anchoring and making passage into the fjord. We passed a survey ship, and there was some captain-level communication to assure each other of intentions (identity having been taken care-of automatically, through some sort of digital ID beacon).

As we entered the fjord, the seas did indeed flatten, and I was feeling fine again by then anyway. We came right in against the furthest and largest of the two glaciers that were there, and anchored for lunch. Lunch was followed by a lovely birthday cake, and a rendition of the Swedish version of the birthday song, by the crew. I was well chuffed by then, morning unpleasantness long gone.

Now we’re underway again, making for the next, deeper branch of the fjord.

No bears in the second branch of the fjord either, but the sun was coming out, so the scenery photos were very nice. Decided to head back towards “bear island” to look for the bears again.

On the way to bear island the bridge saw a whale breach, so we were called up on deck, long lenses pointed all around, waiting for more action.

The whale (were there two? Hard to say.) breached again several times, but never particularly close to the boat. The professional opinion was that this was a blue whale, thanks to the mottling of the skin, and probably about thirty meters long.

By the time we got back to bear island it was too choppy to launch the zodiacs, and the bears couldn’t be seen anyway, so we decided to push on, overnight, to the bird cliffs.

The swell continued to build for the first part of the night: perhaps to three meters. The boat rolled a lot. I was glad that I was in bed, almost asleep.


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