Day 2 |
Jul 24, 2011

At sea en route to Bear Island

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 72º 58’ N, 19º 40’ E
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: 4ºC
Pressure: 1011 hPa
Wind: 11 knots

It never ceases to amaze me how dynamic and changing the seas in high latitudes can be. Just a couple of days ago the winds and the waters in this area were furious, and today they are so calm and flat that it seems hard to believe that we are actually navigating the same stretch of sea.

The day started quite slowly this morning with a late breakfast and at 10:30, in accordance with international maritime law, the Silver Explorer crew held a crew drill.

At 11:15 our onboard Photographer Richard Sidey presented his lecture entitled “Photography Basics”. In this fun and informative lecture Richard gave us some very useful tips and pointers, easy to understand and yet effective and practical, on how to take good nature photographs.

After lunch, and adhering to local rules and regulations, we summoned all guests in The Theatre for a mandatory AECO briefing. AECO stands for Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, the body that governs and regulates touristic activities in Svalbard and of course dictates the parameters for our activities when cruising around the archipelago. At this time Robin West, our Expedition Leader, gave an introduction on how to behave in the Arctic in order to minimize our impact on the environment, as well as how to behave appropriately in polar bear territory.

Immediately after the AECO briefing Robin presented a destination briefing, where he laid out the tentative plans for this cruise as well as the particulars of our day tomorrow in Bjornoya, or Bear Island.

At 5 pm, Marine Biologist Shoshana Jacobs presented her lecture “As the Murre Terns”. By far the noblest of creatures, the Brunnich’s Guillemot represents the greatest biomass of any species during the Arctic summer. Arriving in the millions each spring to breed and nest on precarious cliffs all around the arctic, they delight not only their mammalian and avian predators, but also scientists. We learnt a lot about these fascinating creatures and heard some cool anecdotes and stories related to scientific research in the high Arctic.

This particular cruise is so far very lively as all our guests are old friends, lots of kids and a very Italian atmosphere makes this a very pleasant group to travel with.

And finally in the evening, Captain Aleksander Golubev hosted his Welcome Cocktail Party. He welcomed everybody on board and introduced his Senior Officers to our guests.
Afterwards, our Executive Chef Norbert Ruhdorfer and Restaurant Manager Andrea Stoeger offered and hosted a sumptuous Captain’s Welcome Dinner.