Weather: Light rain and slightly overcast
Air temperature: 7°C, 45°F
Wind: 25 knots
After a rough night at sea, with wind speeds and swell at Force 10 levels, the morning dawned slightly less dramatically. With cloudy overcast skies and swells sufficient to remind us all that we were crossing open waters, the first of two full days at sea unfolded. The first lecture of the day was presented by Claudia Holgate, the ship’s climatology lecturer, and was entitled, “Climate Change: The Global Carbon Experiment.” This was a stimulating exposition of the science behind the headlines of Global Climate Change and the very real implications there are for everyone around the world, from rises in CO2 emissions which raise temperatures to the concomitant thaw in the ice caps - very thought-provoking. Later in the morning, a short film on the Northern Lights phenomenon was a most useful backdrop to the magical Aurora we had witnessed a couple of nights previously.
After lunch, Sue Flood gave a presentation on The Making of the BBC /Discovery series “The Blue Planet”. This was a fascinating insight into the behind the scenes action of this impressive series which brought to the screen polar bears hunting beluga in Nunavut as well as the interactions between leopard seals and penguins in Antarctica. There followed another stimulating Team Trivia presented by Stefan on the places visited by Silver Explorer, a light-hearted interlude enjoyed by many.
The final lecture of the day was given by Chris Harbard, one of the ornithologists onboard, entitled “Birds of the North-from Snowy Owls to Snow Buntings,” which provided a full review of the many birds of the regions we are travelling and a “rule of thumb” guide for identification.