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Sailing to Greenland

In order to more closely view the colony we set off in zodiacs from the “mother ship” and went directly below the cliffs, where we could see pairs of kittywakes on their nests, many of them with young chicks. We learned that the mother is responsible for the chicks until they fledge by dropping down into the water, when they are the father’s responsibility.

A second part of the excursion was to hike up to a ridge with a view across the next fjord. Unfortunately, by the time my group arrived there, the whole area was fogged in, and we could not see much past the edge of the ridge on which we were standing.

After a delicious lunch back on the ship, we began our trip across the Denmark Strait to Greenland, and I along with many of the other participants, staff and students alike, succumbed to seasickness as we encountered rougher seas.

Today has passed in a bit of blur, due to the combined effects of seasickness and the side effects of the medication I am taking. In between long sleeps in my cabin, I have tried to rouse myself for interesting talks about whales, Greenland, and Arctic oceanography.

The best part of the day was the sighting of a group of blue whales, including a mother and calf, which came alongside our ship and created much excitement. We spent about an hour watching these whales, the largest animals alive on the earth today.  The day before, we watched a group of white-sided dolphins riding the bow wave of the ship, as we headed to the Arctic circle after leaving Siglufjorder.

Tomorrow we will be exploring the breath taking Greenland coast, and if pack ice conditions permit, we’ll be sailing up an uncharted fjord to see glaciers, and everyone hopes – polar bears!