This Disappearing World

This disappearing world: exploring Gnalodden, Svalbard, this afternoon with Silversea Expeditions.

This disappearing world: exploring Gnalodden, Svalbard, this afternoon with Silversea Expeditions.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My alarm woke me just after 7:00 a.m. this morning. Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer was rumbling quietly beneath my feet – a sign I took to be the anchor letting loose. I opened the curtains and let an uncensored stream of expletives escape my mouth. I ran over to grab the camera – fumbled around to find the battery I’d stuck on the charger – and snapped a photograph.

We were in another world entirely; the alluring confines of Burgerbukta, Svalbard.

Silversea's Silver Explorer amongst the ice in  Burgerbukta, Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s Silver Explorer amongst the ice in Burgerbukta, Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

I finished last night’s post at 1:30 a.m. When I wheeled around from the desk in my suite, I was surprised to see that full-blown daylight greeted me from the balcony door; I’d opened the curtains earlier in the evening so I could have a view while I worked.

I can understand why the Midnight Sun can seriously mess people up. It’s as bright outside as if it were the middle of the afternoon on a winter’s day. I went out to take a picture; even the Silver Explorer’s deck lights were extinguished. There’s just no need to turn on external lights this far north.

Rewind! The view from my balcony...at 1:30 a.m.. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Rewind! The view from my balcony…at 1:30 a.m.. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

I came back inside and snapped the curtains shut. I hit all the light switches in the room and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Silversea has great curtains with thick black-out drapes, but this is the one time in my life I wished for an inside cabin: light permeated from the seams of the curtains and bled into the room. If you’ve seen the movie Insomnia, I felt a bit like Al Pacino’s character, Detective Will Dormer (Dormer is actually French for ‘sleep’), who is sent to the northernmost reaches of Alaska and is unable to get any sleep as he hunts a killer played by Robin Williams.

Guests disembark from Silver Explorer and board the ship's Zodiac rafts for a morning of scenic cruising. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests disembark from Silver Explorer and board the ship’s Zodiac rafts for a morning of scenic cruising. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Finally, I went and dug out one of the business class amenity kits I travel with. I threw aside the socks and lip balm and dental floss before finally discovering what I wanted: an eye mask. Yes!, I thought. The eye mask will do the trick!

What I didn’t realize is this: my brain had already been fooled. Sleep proved to be elusive.

However, one could argue that sleep is for the dead. There’s a lot to enjoy about today – and I couldn’t wait to get started!

Silver Explorer's Zodiac rafts in search of ice in Burgerbukta, Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Silver Explorer’s Zodiac rafts in search of ice in Burgerbukta, Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Nestled deep within Hornsund, Burgerbukta is an ice-lover's paradise. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Nestled deep within Hornsund, Burgerbukta is an ice-lover’s paradise. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

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Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer continues tomorrow with another day of adventure in Arctic Svalbard at Magdalenafjord! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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