How many times have you heard that before? Be careful of what you wish for. We were all wishing for ice, lots of ice on a nice sunny day. Well we got it. W-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y-y-y too much of it. There were so many icebergs in all shapes and sizes in front of Ilulissat that Fram could not get within 6 nautical miles of the UNESCO World Heritage Site city. That is 6.905 land miles or 11.112 kilometres.
It was disappointing to have to cancel our visit to Ilulissat but it was physically impossible to get through the ice. So why cry about things you cannot change? It is better to get busy and figure out what you might be able to do instead. A new 2 stage plan was quickly formulated by the Expedition Leader Anja Erdmann and Captain Tormud Karlsen. First: scenic cruising from the ship through the dense ice.
Second: once slightly more open water was obtained, we would go cruising in the ice in the Polar Cirkle boats! Yea! Few things are more fun than going in the ice in the Polar Cirkle boats. The rugged Norwegian boats are at their best in those conditions.
It was wonderful to be on the sea dwarfed by giant ice bergs. Everywhere you looked was ice. Everywhere you looked was another photo-oportunity.
Once everyone had their turn in the Polar Cirkle boats, Fram slowly got under way once again. At about 14:30 the Captain announced that a whale had been spotted and that we would slow down to have a look. Soon all the railings on the outside decks were crowded with people hoping to get a glimpse of a whale. It turned out to be a solitary Humpback. There were lots of opportunities for everyone to get photographs of the whale as we were able to stay with it for about thirty minutes.
At 16:00 the lecture program began once again which was followed by briefings on the plans for tomorrow in Itilleq.
Sure, the day wasn't what we had planned originally but it certainly still turned out to be a really fantastic day!