This morning, we awoke to a spectacular blue-sky day in Bellsund in the southwestern part of Svalbard. After morning introductions and briefings, our scouting parties went out to secure a landing in Van Mijenfjorden. On board guests learned photo tips from our photo instructor Brian Holiday. While ashore, with our expedition staff, guests were able to explore the terminal moraine and lagoon of Recherchebreen (The Research Glacier). While some of us learned about the glaciated landscapes, others enjoyed the bird life, while a few others developed a new appreciation of the challenges of crossing the soft sediments of glacial silt.

As we were enjoying lunch, the ship sailed to a neighboring fjord where everyone saw a number of walruses hauled out on the beach and a playful walrus in the water.

In the afternoon we were guided to a landing at Ingeborgfjellet where reindeer greeted us on the plain above the rocky beach. The more adventurous climbed the rocky bench up to the talus slopes where we were able to see hundreds of thousands of nesting dovekie (little auks). It was a spectacular opportunity to see thousands of birds circling as they prepared to head out foraging to feed their young.