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Day 1 - September 8, 2013 - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

By Franz Bairlein, Ornithologist

Co-ordinates: N 66º57'14", W 50º57'40"
Weather: cloudy, partly sunny
Air Temperature: 4.2ºC, 39ºF
Pressure: 995 hPa
Wind: 10 km/h


My day started early. At 6 am we started unloading the luggage by zodiacs to shore. I was assigned to the shore party where we unloaded the zodiacs and placed the luggage at the pier for pickup later. After this was done, we returned to Silver Explorer for a quick breakfast before heading ashore again for the disembarkation of the transient guests who registered for the bus tour to the ice-cap. Soon after, the disembarkation of the leaving guests started. With the last zodiac bringing ashore the leaving staff members around 10 am, we closed the shore party and returned to Silver Explorer. While ashore, several Common Ravens, a Northern Wheatear, a Common Redpoll and a flock of Snow Buntings passed. After a short briefing of the rest of the day’s duties I prepared the species list for the coming voyage. In the meantime, the day became rather sunny and I enjoyed the beautiful fall colours of the surrounding landscape.

At 2 pm, I went to the Panorama Lounge in order to check the equipment for taking photos of the incoming guests. The first guests arrived at around 2:30 pm; the entire registration went smoothly and lasted for roughly an hour. After a short rest we were called for the mandatory lifeboat drill and zodiac briefing in the Theatre at 4 pm. At 4:40 pm, Silver Explorer lifted anchor and sailed away from Kangerlussuaq. I went out to deck 6 to socialize with the guests where I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Søndre Strømfjord, the nice sun, the tasty snacks offered by our Executive Chef Grant and his team, and the nice piano music by Lou. Black-legged Kittiwakes, Glaucous Gulls and an Iceland Gull were flying by.
Time proceeded rapidly and so it was time to dress for the briefing on tomorrow’s planned activities in Sisimiut and the staff introduction in the Theatre at 6:45 pm.

An expedition staff meeting in the Observation Lounge finished my duties at this change day onboard Silver Explorer. After dinner with the crew, I went out to the sundeck to appreciate the scenic landscape with snow-topped mountains, magnificent rock formations and glaciers facing the fjord while Silver Explorer sailed westbound.

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