Spitsbergen, Svalbard, The Arctic

Blue Whales in the Arctic

We had one last night on the ship and were told we were in a good place for whale watching. A wake up call came over the loud speaker around 2 am; “I’m sorry to disturb, but there are three large whales on the starboard side of the ship.”

I thought to myself, I wish they announced what type of whale as I didn’t want to get up for a humpback to view in the distance when I have snorkeled with them.

A little while later, we heard over the loud speaker, “We believe these are blue whales.” Continue reading “Blue Whales in the Arctic”

Norway, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, The Arctic

Duck, Duck, Goose in the Arctic!

First Day on the Sea Adventurer Operated by Quark Expeditions

The loudspeaker wake up call came at 7:30 for breakfast starting at 8. I opted for an omelet and fruit. David added some lox to the mix. There was no shortage of food at the morning buffet. The rest of the morning was filled with preparation…a kayak fitting to adjust our foot pegs, a boot fitting for our landings, and of course a briefing on all the does and dont’s in the Arctic. We now know the correct way to enter and exit the zodiac, how to clean our boots at the gangway, and the importance of staying close to one another and near the guide with the rifle in case a polar bear comes near! Continue reading “Duck, Duck, Goose in the Arctic!”

Norway, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, The Arctic

Tour of Spitsbergen, Norway

We enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the hotel…mostly European style. We had to check out by 11, so we packed our bags and left them in the common area for Quark Expeditions to pick up while we took a “taxi” tour with 13 others. It was more like a shuttle bus tour. I’m thankful we were able to find a short and relaxing activity before boarding the ship for our circumnavigation around the island! Continue reading “Tour of Spitsbergen, Norway”

Norway, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, The Arctic

Finally Arrived in Longyearbyen, Norway

Getting to Longyearbyen

We left Wednesday evening. It is now Thursday night at 10:15 in Oslo and still light. We only have one more leg to our journey tomorrow morning when we fly to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard, Norway. So far, our trip has been rather uneventful.

We took a red eye on a British Airways 747, a rickety old plane. I skipped the meal service, took a sleeping pill and actually slept a good six hours quite comfortably in coach. I couldn’t believe it…I usually get four hours of sleep at best! We killed time during our five hour layover in London by having lunch at Giraffe, browsing the shops, and catching up on some reading. Continue reading “Finally Arrived in Longyearbyen, Norway”