The day began with plans to land and hike at a spot about halfway into Storefjord. Fresh snow on the hills created a scene with a distinct autumn vibe; summer has ended here in East Greenland.

Approaching the landing, we spied a polar bear sow and cub chewing on something right on the beach we hoped to land. While she and her cub moved out of sight, their presence there required a plan B for the morning, so National Geographic Endurance sailed into a small unnamed tributary of the main fjord. Information about water depths here is unreliable so the ship moved cautiously, using the latest sonar technology to sound our way into the end of this new-to-us fjord. What we found was a huge open alluvial fan filling a glacial valley that seemed perfect for exploring.

With scouting complete and sentries on station, we shuttled ashore for a walkabout. The entire area consists of glacial moraine – unsorted rocks and boulders dominate the landscape, with melt water streams and sandy berms mixed in – making for some slow and careful walking. However, one didn’t need to go far to enjoy the landscape that surrounded us.

The philosophy of exploring with flexibility, allowing plans to evolve and change, adapting to what the planet offers each day, paid off in spades this morning. I wonder what tomorrow has in store for us?