Monday 2015-09-07 afternoon

A zodiac cruise and landing in Lilliehooks Fjord rewarded us with the sighting of reindeer on the slopes of the barren hills. Beautiful majestic creatures that roam wild and due to isolation have created their own sub-species. Hiking up the permafrost, sinking into a bed of lichens and fungi afforded our legs a well deserved stretch and workout. The area was originally the location of a German weather station after the Second World War and is now preserved the way it is as a historical site. Rusty cans, boots, old rotting hessian bags lay about as if someone left in a hurry. One can only imagine the solitary life the operators lived here towards the end of the earth. Every animal that we encountered has a lonely existence here, man included. Certainly one would have to like ones own company. The day was one of vast contrasts as we virtually travelled around the corner to where the glacier slowly spewed its frozen contents into the bay in front of us. Constant rumbling and sudden thunderous booms echoed about the bay, letting us know there was about to be a calving. This is when the ice breaks away from the pressure coming from behind as the frozen river crawls towards the ocean. Wow - to witness this is awesome! The action of the huge amount of ice hitting the water sets off a small set of waves and, hopefully, you are far enough away! It is honestly surreal to watch nature at work!

Lilliehookbreen: 79°18’26”N, 11°36’06”E

Photo credit: Martin Kraus

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Glacier calving, photo credit: Jenny Johannsen

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Crossing to Greenland

Tuesday 2015-09-08 morning

Since we had no early morning activities, we had a late breakfast at 0830.  A few team members disembarked and we gained a few new ones and took on some supplies.  It is a very brief stop (we are not even anchoring or docking) before we make our Atlantic crossing to Greenland.  We are expecting our journey to take about 72 hours and we plan to fill our time with lectures given by various experts onboard, sorting and editing photos, looking for whales and birds, and, of course, taking more photos!

Monday Morning Dive and Glaciers

Monday 2015-09-07 morning

This morning we've relocated to Lillehoeksfjord where divers will be able to dive a wall and everyone else can shuttle ashore for a view of the bay and glacier and/or a walk.

This afternoon, we'll take our Elysium team photo in front of the Lillehook (which means "small hawk") Glacier and then have a zodiac cruise to get a closer look at this spectacular sight.  Maybe we'll catch some of the calving on film.

Lilliehookbreen: 79°18’26”N, 11°36’06”E

Sunday Afternoon with Walruses

Sunday 2015-09-06 afternoon

The grandeur of the Svitjodbreen glacier on Fugle Fjord - is breathtaking! Calm water, no wind and balmy – well, balmy for the Arctic: 6 degrees Celcius! We didn't even don our gloves, which made for feverish picture taking when a couple of puffins were spotted. These birds by now should have migrated but these two decided to hang in a little longer. A mother walrus and her pup were the only large inhabitants in the fjord but they gave us many photo opportunities with their loving attention to each other on their tiny ice flow.

Frequently the glacier thundered as the ice calved off and fell into the ocean. You have to wonder if this is happening at an increasing rate or is it just natural? There is no sea ice (only glacier ice) here – how could there be at 6 degrees? That's how cold it gets in Melbourne, Australia during winter.

Dr Sylvia Earle dived with magnificent jellyfish, anemones, sponges, crabs – all living amongst the magnificent kelp that grows thick in this area. She had such a wonderful time, as she always does in the water.

Fugelhuken: 78°54’11”N, 10°31’42”E

Photo credit: Jenny Johannsen

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Photo credit: Amanda Wilkin

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