Ice Blink

Today, we got a real taste of the moody, ethereal character of Arctic Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Today, we got a real taste of the moody, ethereal character of Arctic Svalbard. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Today was all about mood and atmosphere here onbard Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Explorer as we continued to hunt the elusive Polar Bear in Arctic Svalbard.

To kick things off, we started the day with a two-hour overland “hike” (more of a stroll, really) along the gravely shoreline of Torellneset, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard.

This morning, we came ashore in Torellneset, Svalbard for a hike. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

This morning, we came ashore in Torellneset, Svalbard for a hike. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Once again, disembarkation from the ship was conducted by Zodiac groups to ensure Zodiac operations are orderly and efficient. Once ashore, groups were then further subdivided and passed off to one of the Silver Explorer Expedition Team members for a guided walking tour of this fascinating landscape. Even better, each group set off in their own separate direction so that we wouldn’t all be herded along.

With our four polar bear guards minding the perimeter, we joined Expedition Team Member Franz for a fabulous walk – and a great chance to stretch our legs after being at sea for a few days.

Polar Bear Guard and Expedition Team Member Chris on watch. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Polar Bear Guard and Expedition Team Member Chris on watch. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Safe and secure, guests set out on our fantastic walk...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Safe and secure, guests set out on our fantastic walk…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...led by Expedition Team member Franz. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…led by Expedition Team member Franz. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Regarding the polar bears, the team is prepared for any eventualities: should a bear breach the perimeter, Franz – like the other Expedition Team members – carries a high-powered pistol in his pocket. It’s a stark reminder that, while our ship may be far more comfortable than those early explorers, we’re still subjected to the same threats as they were. The trick is, we’re taking control of our environment in a way the early explorers weren’t able to.

Along our walk, we were fortunate enough to see about five walruses in various stages of hauling themselves into and out of the water. We probably spent 30 solid minutes just watching them before continuing on.

We were treated to a real sight: walruses, and lots of them. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

We were treated to a real sight: walruses, and lots of them. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Of course, humans watching walruses are pretty interesting, too. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Of course, humans watching walruses are pretty interesting, too. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

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

 

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