Blog written by Simon
What we’ve all experienced today will stay in our minds for the rest of our lives! The day started out with a tasty bowl full of porridge some bread and a cup of tea. We got on land and organized a cultural event for the 26th of August in Clyde River, we finally raised the anchor and set sails. Pulling up those huge sails with a surface area of 200 m2 was exhausting but we all enjoyed it a lot. After 10min and one mile of sailing someone shouted: ”There’s a Polar Bear in the water!” We all ran on deck and immediately turned the Pangaea to get closer to the bear. It was totally amazing to see the Polar Bear swimming 5m next to our boat, not in a zoo, but in nature. We could hardly belief it – it seemed so unreal. It’s really unusual to see polar bears that far south in summer when there’s no ice around and so close to a village. Due to global warming there’s not enough ice for them to hunt seals in summer, so they swim hundreds of miles to find food, and finally end up in places like that where they most probably get shot by hunters.
We still enjoyed it like Just a couple of days ago we all sat at home, and now we saw our first polar bear. But the excitement got even bigger as we saw Ice Bergs floating at the horizon. We soon reached them and got to see them in full beauty, shining light blue in the dark ocean. The first ones were small pieces of ice, but the further we got the bigger the Ice Bergs became.
We sailed along the coast of Baffin Island for about an hour when Mike told us to get ready to jump on one of the Ice Bergs. So we got down to the “garage” where all the yeps sleep, put on our hiking boots and ran up to the front of the boat to be ready to jump off. Erwan, one of the mountain guides jumped first and we all followed him one after the other. It was a bit scary to jump on a floating block of ice, but the excitement and the adrenaline rush was overwhelming all the fears. 😀 We stood on that around 30000 year old Ice Berg floating around for about half an hour. After getting back on the boat we kept sailing north, the coastline always to our right side, changing groups for watch every two hours. It was by far the most exciting and most amazing day up to now. We’ll all definitely never forget that first day sailing in the arctic again.
Blog by Henko Roukema
Today was a fantastic day as we saw our first polar bear!!! What an experience!! Never in my life did I think I would be able to see a polar bear in real life, this is truly an experience in a life time! I’m so grateful towards Mike and the team of Pangaea, I can’t express it in words! The day started with us taking a short trip to the town of Clyde river with the rubber duck, were we had the chance to go to the local school and the health centre, it is now organized that when we come back from the big wall climbing and hiking over the glacier that we will have a day to do some culture exchange with the local Inuit of Clyde river witch will surely be a unique! After our short visit to the town we started sailing towards the glacier we are going to be crossing.
The trip was the most exhilarating ever! There was ice bergs all the way… they are drifting all the way from Green Land to the pass of death as they are surely going to melt due to the warm water temperatures, the ice bergs are also getting smaller and smaller due to the fact of climate change as there is less ice formed each year due to the prolonged warmer seasons in the arctic! After the initial excitement of seeing the ice bergs , we gathered at the conference room in the boat were Mike and Riswitha gave us a talk about ice bergs and from where they are drifting (about 300 miles all the way from Green land, they are basically ice that is thousands of years old! We also saw some whales, but the best part of the day was when we got the chance to climb on to a flat small ice berg! What a rush!!
This is truly an honor to be part of this expedition as we are the only boat for hundreds of miles! Tomorrow we will start with a 4 day hike over a glacier that has never been crossed before; we are going to have to navigate and climb over crevasses and carry all our gear in a sled. The plan is to meet up with the boat at Sam Fjord where we will be doing the big wall climbing!