This was another busy day with 2 excursions. In the morning we did a zodiac cruise to the glacier and ice-bergs at Croker Bay on Devon Island. This is the largest non-inhabited island in the world. It was very cold and I was splashed a few times, but the MEC water pants and the Northface ski jacket shell held up pretty good, although the new waterproof gloves were minimal. At one point we were attacked by zodiac pirates, who tortured us with hot chocolate spiked with Bailey’s. Har-harrr! Getting back to the ship, I had a glass of whiskey without ice… seen enough of that today!

In the afternoon, we went ashore at a different point on Devon Island for a 20 km hike on the Arctic tundra. Kidding… just 2 km. Not much to look at, just rocks, but some spectacular scenery.

Returned to the ship on a zodiac with young people, which was a really different ride then with the fogeys. Fun, with all the chatter and selfies. Errr, actually I’m one of those old fogeys!

Every-time we made a landing, perimeter guards carrying shotguns were set up to watch for polar bears. I asked about the use of shotguns as opposed to high power rifles. I thought they wouldn’t be powerful enough to kill a bear, but only wound it, which would be tragic. I didn’t really get a good answer, but even if SSG’s are used, that may not be enough. Maybe shotguns are easier to handle.

That evening, I met an interesting guy, Cam, who used to travel all over the world photographing figure skating events. Over dinner, I learned a very good phrase that he uses a lot… “Help me understand”.  So now, if I’m talking to someone, and I don’t know what they’re talking about, or I’m bored, or any other reason, I can just say, “Help me understand”. So watch for that.

Arctic-Explorer-Route-Map

[click on any image for slideshow]

Zodiacs in the water

Zodiacs in the water

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Zodiac pirates

Zodiac pirates

Mid-afternoon snack

Mid-afternoon snack

Relaxing in the library

Relaxing in the library

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Polar bear duty

Polar bear duty

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Returning to the Ocean Endeavor

Returning to the Ocean Endeavor

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