The ice continues and so does the wildlife
Location: Baffin Bay / Davis Strait
Thick ice and varying degrees of visibility continue to hamper our shore activities, so life aboard ship has been the feature of the expedition these last few days. Binoculars are trained seaward for birds and the ever-vigilant crew and passengers are on lookout for whale blows and flukes. Sarah, our Inuit artisan, continued to work on a seal skin brought with her for demonstration captured our attention as the delicate pelt neared completion.
While my previous journey in 2012 was largely devoid of ice, this year is markedly different, yet wildlife sightings have been abundant. Fourteen bears, including five cubs, the normally elusive bowhead, beaked and pilot whales and a few cheeky seals popping up at the few coves we've been able to visit.
We managed to get ashore in Sunneshine fjord, chock-a-block with fascina ting geological formations as well as a Zodiac cruise past the towering 'bird cliffs' in the Akpait National Wildlife Area. The majestic spires of these cliffs, hundreds of metres vertical from the shore, had all the hallmarks of an eerie fortress from 'Lord of the Rings'. Tens of thousands of breeding birds making their nests on the tiny ledges, swooping down in raucous flights to feed in the rich waters below.
Akedemik Ioffe continues northward where we hope to meet the locals at Pond Inlet.
Pilot whales in the evening light (R Eime)
Female polar bear and three cubs in the open water (OOE)
Bird cliffs of Akpait (OOE)
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