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Adventures in the Land of the Midnight Sun – Chapter 4

August 6, 2010

28 June 2010 The Polar Plunge – Krossfjorden, Svalbard

The Polar Plunge

This post is titled “The Polar Plunge” for two reasons. Although we have already been in the Arctic for a day, this was our first time off the boat – at the mercy of the elements and literally getting our feet wet. Secondly, they offered a polar plunge – where you get into your bathing suit and jump into the freezing Arctic waters – at the end of the day.

Apparently, it is uncharacteristic weather for this region today. As it was our virgin landing, we were relatively well-equipped (read: kiasu), but in minutes I had taken off all the layers and was sweating while hiking the Arctic tundra. It was actually warm. I don’t suppose folks sunbathing on the rocky beach is a sight in the Arctic everyday.

No polar bears yet, but we saw a solo beluga whale close up (we hear this is the most any one of the Naturalists on board has seen of a beluga whale as they are usually quite skittish, so it was quite exciting). I also got a pathetic, fleeting glimpse of a puffin as it flew past (they are surprising fast birds actually). Hopefully, we will get a better look over the next days.

I really regret that I was too much of a chicken to try the polar plunge though (those who did got a cool certificate too), but at least I can say I kayaked in the Arctic. :p

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This post was written on board the National Geographic Explorer.

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