Day 4 |
Aug 28, 2013

At sea

By Sue Flood, General Naturalist, Wildlife Photographer and Filmmaker


Co-ordinates: 61°57’ N, 89°76’ E
Weather: Overcast and windy
Air Temperature: 7º C, 44º F
Water Temperature: 9º C, 48º F
Pressure: 961 hPa
Wind: SW 22 knots

Today we had a day at sea en route from Arviat to Walrus Island – and rather blustery it was too! My fellow expedition team members delivered an interesting series of lectures throughout the day.

In the morning our Ornithologist Franz Barlein spoke on the subject of Arctic Birds – Living in the Cold. He described some of the incredible adaptations that birds have for living in this part of the world, such as the counter-current mechanism in their feet and legs which allow the birds to stand on the snow and ice without their feet freezing.

Next, Geologist Stefan Kredal gave an entertaining talk on Plate Tectonics, also known as the continental drift. This near-heretical idea was proposed by German Alfred Wegener, and Stefan’s talk somehow managed to detail the theory of plate tectonics while incorporating mentions of Fawlty Towers and Johnny Cash, whose song “Ring of Fire” was an appropriate soundtrack. I never thought that I would laugh out loud in a geology lecture.

After a delicious lunch, many of us joined General Naturalist Chris Cutler in The Theatre for his introduction to Marine Mammals of the Arctic. Chris also explained how he had worked on an American government research vessel studying cetaceans and the challenges that this involves. Having filmed many Arctic marine mammals during my time with the BBC Natural History Unit, this was of particular interest to me.

Later in the afternoon, some guests joined Juan Carlos Restrepo in the Panorama Lounge for a hotly-contested round of Team Trivia.

Our final lecture of the day was delivered by Anthropology specialist Colleen Batey. Colleen’s lecture was on the subject of “The Peopling of the Arctic Lands – Subsistence and Art”. Having collected Inuit art for many years, I very much enjoyed this talk, and it whetted my appetite for our forthcoming trip to Cape Dorset, the most famous of all printmaking locations in the Canadian Arctic.

My day finished on a high note when I joined several Australian guests for a delicious dinner. There were several keen photographers amongst them and we enjoyed swapping stories!