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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Whales everywhere!

By mid afternoon we were well into the icebergs and still about 40 miles east of Greenland's coast. Massive castles of ice hundreds of metres high and thousands of metres long drifting gently south on the East Greenland Polar Current. With these stately nomads of the sea came a few growlers and bergy bits. It was whilst we were keeping an extra special lookout for them that we noticed we were suddenly surrounded by spouts of steam and water.

At least 20 huge marine mammals were lumbering around the boat in all directions. Spouting, tail slapping and, occasionally, breaching all within a very few metres of us. Anxious not to collide with one crossing our bow we stopped the boat and marvelled at this wild and wonderful welcome to Greenland.

As they fell behind us the horizon remained alive with spouting eruptions of water and mist.

And then came the land. Thus far Greenland had hid itself in a swathe of frigid cloud despite the good weather we were enjoying at sea. Then, 30 miles off, we saw the black shapes of mountains lacerated by enormous glaciers reaching up into the clouds. Some of the mountains on this wild and remote coast are over 3,000 metres high so we are hoping for a spectacular sail-by when we choose our window to sail south.

Despite 2 days at sea everyone is in high spirits and can't wait to see what morning brings when we should be at anchor in a sheltered bay on the north side of Scoresby Sound.
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