July 27, 2011

Getting closer.

A day at sea. No landings, only fast cruising, lectures on the archipelago’s geology and polar bears, some Russian lessons and art sessions, a swim, sauna or massage. Life at sea: calm, swift, mysterious, beautiful, and gradually getting rougher as the ice gets thicker and the ship barrels over it. When we stop in the late afternoon so the crew can set up for the evening barbecue on the deck, the stillness and quiet of the ice is eerie, beautiful and white.

The whimsical Poseidon party. The god of the sea welcomes us to the Arctic.

In the evening, as every evening, a party in the bar, but first, on this evening, a whimsical welcome ceremony staged by Poseidon, god of the sea (and patron of Poseidon Arctic Voyages, the parent company of Expedition Cruises), and his mermaids, polar bears and assorted hangers-on. Then the barbecue on the rear deck, with veal and beef, chicken, hot dogs, wine, beer and vodka – lots of all of it.

A barbecue on the rear deck keeps everyone warm. Vodka helps.