Blogs from Arctic, Oceans and Seas


Oceans and Seas » Arctic April 19th 2018

The Geographic North Pole… “Trying to set foot upon it is like trying to step on the shadow of a bird that was circling overhead. The surface across which we were moving was itself moving on a planet that was spinning around an axis.” Sir Wally Herbert, on Reaching the North Pole, 1969. Imagine an empty expanse of white. A frozen crust of sea-ice floating over the mighty depths of the Arctic Ocean - in a world that had only one day per year. At the Geographic North Pole, the sun sets on the Autumnal Equinox and does not rise again until the Spring Equinox. This period of dark is followed by six months of circling light. There is only one annual cycle of day and night. I arrived in early morning - April. It was ... read more
Ninety North
Pole Position
At the North Pole

Oceans and Seas » Arctic March 1st 2016

Tuesday 1st March, 2016. Cruising the Atlantic Ocean We had another lazy morning and then had lunch in the restaurant. We went to the quiz in Scott's Bar and played with a nice couple called Mick and Margaret. They didn't answer many questions but we still won the keyring which we gave to Margaret as we already had one. At 7.30 pm we went to the Captain's Welcome Reception for a glass or two of fizz. After dinner we went to see the "Dancing Queen" show. The new singer, Emma, is excellent. We followed this up with "Buddy Brilliant" in Scott's Bar where Rob was great as ever.... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic February 5th 2016

Friday 5th February, 2016. Cruising the South Atlantic Ocean We had a lie in - having boogied the night away last night. We had lunch in the restaurant and then we went to the quiz in the Scotts Bar in the afternoon. We played with John and Philippa and got 10 out of 38 possible points. The winners got 14. D proclaimed that it was the worse quiz had ever done. One team scored zero so Jenny gave them a booby prize. We passed the rest of the day writing blogs, reading and doing puzzles. After dinner the show was Gerry Graham who is a guest act that came aboad in Ushuaia. Gerry is a comedien and singer. He was very funny and could sing a bit too. After the show we went to the Karaoke ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic November 2nd 2015

Sharon went to mass while I finished up the blog, and did a review of country flags for tonight’s Mega Trivia game. When she returned we went up to the Crow’s Nest for the Team Travel Trivia. All six of us found a prime table and were ready for a Day of Trivia. “What European country has the longest coastline?” I figured Norway. My teammates were debating Italy or Greece. The later claimed they hadn’t heard me or they would have all agreed that Norway was right. What country has the largest archipelago? Sharon suggested Alaska. I guess it figures that the answer is the country with the world’s largest volcano: Indonesia. What country has the most lakes? Jim noted that Minnesota is known and the land of 10,000 lakes, and this led us to the ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic March 25th 2015

Hello everybody! It's Madeline and Illiana! We are currently in Australia! First, we would like to say that Australia is great! Yesterday, we were in Sydney, it is an amazing city! We have visited the Opera house and it was extraordinary! Today, we are in Canberra and we have just been to Tidbinbilla nature reserve. It was so exciting, we loved the wild and wild animals. The Tidbinbilla nature reserve is situated in a beautiful valley between the Tidbinbilla and the Gibraltar ranges. We think it is wonderful. We would like to take a ride on a helicopter above Sydney but before that we would like to go tree-climbing because we like heights. We have also been surfing in Sydney, and we are going to tell you about something really stupid that happened over there: on ... read more
Surfing in Sydney

Oceans and Seas » Arctic November 14th 2011

Grønland, Sisimiut Så er vi ankommet til Sisimiut. Den hårdeste tur var op ad trappen og med ryggen mod familien hen mod paskontrollen med tårerne silende ned ad kinderne og et stort ? der hobede sig op i hele kroppen. Hvorfor gør vi det her? Men vi ved jo godt inderst inde hvorfor. Fordi vi ikke kan lade være. Fordi verden ligger derude, lidt udenfor Tisvilde og venter på at blive indtaget. Fordi vi har valgt at give vores unger en gave, som er med til at forme dem som mennesker, og som de vil opdage værdien af om mange mange år fra nu. Fordi vi trænger til at være sammen som familie og 'stemple ud en gang' og være sammen om de skønne oplevelser, og nå ja fordi vi vælger køen på motorvejen fra tilfordel ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic August 21st 2011

Hi Folks. We've spent much of this summer on the water, enjoying kayak time with our beautiful white whales. Theresa explained in a previous blog about how close the whales were coming to the kayak and that they were nudging us, perhaps they were getting a little amorous with the mottled white kayak? This "close encounter behaviour" happened time and time again and we began to feel at ease with the belugas. Being totally surrounded by these magnificent mammals is a thrilling and magical experience, and we feel honoured to have shared some quality time with them on many occasions. We could hear the whales vocalizing at times too! An amazing language spoken beneath the waves - undecipherable to us humans. Most of the whales have now left the area, but our kayak remains by the ... read more
Upside down beneath us
Checking out the paddle!
A pod swims below

Oceans and Seas » Arctic » Norwegian Sea August 8th 2011

Today is the start of two glorious sea days as we head south to Alesund, Norway. The Svalbard Islands have disappeared. Watching them as we sailed past was like looking at the Rockies, if the Rockies were on a shore; craggy, steep, snow covered peaks. Went to the coffee talk. The cruise director interviewed the dining room manager, the cellar master and the executive chef. They were all charming and informative and gave interesting insights into provisioning, cooking and serving wines at sea. Then it was Team Trivia time and WE WON!!!!!!! I have also received my Proclamation from King Aegir certifying that I have crossed the Arctic Circle and I am a member of the Ancient Order of the Blue Nose. Enjoyed dinner as always. I am so lucky to get a great table. There ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic » Norwegian Sea August 6th 2011

Scenic Cruising This morning we slowly cruised into Magdalene Fiord located on the northernmost northwestern shore of Spitsbergen, the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago. The latitude here is about 79 degrees. The fiord is relatively small about five miles deep and three miles wide at it widest point. The mountains are stark and steep. The only vegetation is moss but the moss is a carpet of greens, reds and oranges. It’s really colorful. At one time there was a whaling station here but that was long ago and it was surprising to see a two-tent research facility on the shore with a small-beached zodiac. There was a sailboat moored in a little cove. At the terminus is the Lillichook Glacier. That is the only glacier still reaching the water. Others have retreated up the mountain. ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Arctic » Norwegian Sea August 4th 2011

AT LAST WIFI IS BACK. HELLO ALL! Another lovely sleep in, today until 7:30. It is still grey out there but the seas have calmed. Found myself a $10 watch to replace the one I lost. At lunch today I met two ladies who live in Nairobi, actually the outskirts of Nairobi because no one lives right in the city. A mother and daughter originally from San Francisco, who moved to Kenya in the mid seventies, came back to the states and then returned to Kenya where they plan to end their days. They are very interesting women and deeply love their African home. They have visited 43 of the 54 African countries. Went up in the Crow’s Nest to read and watch the arctic terns circle the bow of the ship and then went back ... read more

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