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And  So  We  Begin

We had 2 to 3  forays out each day ... .. both zodiac wanderings and landings ... plus kayak explorations.

Keeping  in  mind  that your tolerance level for looking at  glaciers,  icebergs,  rocks,  bird poo  &  polar bears  may not be as high as ours,

I've really tried to only include the most amazing or most beautiful or cutest shots.

In fact there are even a few places I haven't included at all ... because  let's face it,  this is not a BBC documentary.

Not quite sure exactly what this is .... but it's not that.



For the first 10 minutes... Tundra is fun to walk on.       After that .... it's not


Artic  Skua


Negri  Glacier


Little  Auks


Seal  Pup



This is to show you how deceptive distance perception can be.

Just looks like there are a few tiny chunks out there, doesn't it  ?


This one is taken from the zodiac.

Notice how much ice there really is .... and how far away the ship is    ( upper left )



Artic  Hare


Bear Tracks


Artic  Fox


Harp Seal  &  Pup





For  Perspective The little red part at the bottom  is a zodiac


You know what those little white dots are  ?


THESE  .... Guillemots


Artic  Wolves  &   Musk Ox


Artic  Wolf


Wolf  Print


Musk  Ox  &  Calf


Artic  Fox


Musk  Ox


Artic  Fox


Alpine  Forget-Me-Nots







We decided to use our zodiac time today, getting up close & personal with this glacier.

( you can't do that with a ship ).


Just HOW up close ... turned out to be a big surprise to all of us.


In the photo ... we're sharing space with large numbers of Kittiwakes and Glaucus Gulls


So .... we got closer.


And ...  then REALLY  CLOSE !!       Notice the figure on the right.

It's astounding how humongous these things really are !!


Just about the time the clouds rolled in ...( which can happen almost instantaneously ) ... we heard the distinct sound of the glacier  "calving".

Arriving at the spot ( marked by all the new ice chunks floating around)...we were a bit disappointed to have missed it. 

We had never been this close during a calving before.

But the old girl still had a few tricks up her sleeve .... and put on another show for us.

Like most of us ... if you've ever seen a calving before ,  it was probably from a ship. 

So you've probably never given much thought to the waves that occur as a result of huge chunks of ice dropping into the sea.

It's quite an interesting experience in a zodiac.




After a few more minor  "plops"  ... she dropped a fairly large section.

Bigger waves ... and we were happy our zodiac driver was adept at  "surfing".



And   THEN  ...  THIS  !!

(and those guys in Hawaii think they've done waves ?   HAH !!! )

By the way ... this is our zodiac driver .....

 in the throes of an  " OH   #@*& "  moment ... as he gunned it.



After a bit ... with the calving increasing .... the chunks getting bigger .. as well as  the wave action  ( fun as it was ),

we decided the better part of valor was to  "get  out  of  Dodge" .... and go play someplace else , before we became part of a minor tsunami..


Artic  Fox  Pups .... haven't got their white coat yet.



Ringed  Plover


Tufted  Saxifrage


Harp  Seals



Bearded  Seal


Glaucus  Gull



Let me tell you ... climbing up the hill from that beach was NOT easy


In search of Reindeer ..... and they're way up there.

Looks like our climbing for the day is so not far from finished.




Will you just look at the rack on this guy  ??!!!


Svalbard  Poppy


Noticed this little guy ....skulking around near me.

So I crouched behind a rock ...... tapping my fingers on the top, where he could see them.

Then when his curiosity got the better of him ...

I slowly raised the camera  & got this.

What a darling !!   What Fun  !!


OH  YEAH !!   This is really turning out to be a  great  "Darla-Type"  trip.

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