As we continue our journey south, and eventually back to Longyearbyen we keep our eyes open for places to make landfall. We approach a cabin which has been a good spot for viewing wildlife in the past, but it appears that someone else has beat us there: a solitary male polar bear. For our own safety, and his, we venture onward and eventually come to a place where the ship has never made landfall before: Kvalvågen on the island of Spitsbergen.
In this place our goal was to explore a new space and to gain some elevation. And so up we climbed.
Heading off across the tundra with aim to gain some elevation and some perspective.
A group in front of us leads the way.
Along the way we see lots of purple saxifrage is a common plant found in the Arctic.
We also started a purple sandpiper that ended up presenting a “wounded wing display” in the hopes of luring us away from its nest.
More ground dwelling plants.
Geese in flight.
Next of eggs, likely from a pink-footed goose.
Up, up, up we climb!
And to our summit and vista!
From the top!
We take our time on the way down, exploring as we go.
Admiring the snow and the scenery.
Examining the tundra.
And getting in touch with our inner reindeer.
Enrique shows where we were.