Robin's Adventures

Arctic Circle, Greenland, and Iceland
Jewels of the North

Walrus Antics

Check out this video of the walrus pod on Whalbergoya Island in Svalbard.


Forty years of marriage... just the beginning.

Blue Whale

Just before breakfast we came upon a blue whale and her calf. They stayed along side the ship for quite some time and kindly posed for photos.

The blue whale is the largest animal alive today and statistics relating to its size are very impressive. For example, the whale's tongue weighs about 3 tons and its mouth is large enough to hold almost 100 tons of food, but the whale's throat is so narrow that it can't swallow anything with a diameter greater than a beach ball.

The brain of the blue whale weighs only about 15 pounds, but the whale's penis, at 8 to 10 feet long, is the largest of any living organism.

Tail of a Whale

The calf of a blue whale can drink up to 110 gallons of milk each day and they gain up to 200 pounds every day during their first 6 to 7 months of life. As an adult, the blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill in a single day.

Randfjorden Polar Bears

The next leg of our journey took us to Randfjorden, or"red fjord," so named because of the beautiful sandstone rock that is common in the area. A female polar bear with a cub was spotted and we went out in a zodiac to have a look.

Bears on the Move

These bears were on the move and slowly made their way down to the edge of the water.

Polar bears are very well adapted to a polar climate. Their body has a 4 inch blubber layer for insulation, covered by dense underfur and a layer of transparent guard hairs on top. At temperatures over 50 degrees, the bears will begin to overheat.

At Waters Edge

When the bears reached the water they began to pace back and forth with their nose at the waters edge. The sense of smell is strong in polar bears. They can smell a seal up to a mile away and under three feet of snow. The mother bear later dove into the water and pulled out the carcass of a dolphin so that she and the cub could feed.

At Sea

It was time to leave Svalbard and head for Greenland. That would mean that the next two days would be spent at sea. We used the time to read, relax, attend some interesting lectures, and explore the ship.

On the Bridge

We checked out the bridge. Things seemed to be operating very smoothly. The ship was very stable throughout our entire journey and we did not feel much rocking from the motion of the sea.

Culinary Creations

Steve very much enjoyed his dining experience on Le Boreal. The food was excellently prepared and served beautifully. Robin's simpler palate, as always, was satisfied with the grilled chicken and broccoli.