What were you doing at 6:00 am this morning?
The team starts the day with
some morning yoga on the hills overlooking Akureyri.
Kendelle Anstey, St. John's, Newfoundland
In a land where volcanoes and glaciers have cultivated an utmost beautiful terrain almost unimaginable to the eye. My stay in Iceland is almost over, but so much has happened over the past few days to bring about much excitement, and wonder about even the smallest things you don't always notice. When visiting the volcano crater yesterday July 26th, it was breath taking to see every bit of the land, but even listening and sitting down at these wonderful little arctic flowers that somehow in the most horrible conditions managed to survive with so much activity, tourists and rocky terrain. I got to take some videos of the surrounding area and experience something I never have before. Other highlights from today in particular was when I was photographing this bird that seemed so interesting, and then another one of the same kind landed on the post by the shore side next to it - it was really hard taking the photo because the bird kept cleaning itself, and I managed to get the timing of its particular behaviour to anticipate the shot to get the photo right. I learned after that this bird was called the Arctic Tern, and it actually spends its summer in the Arctic, and our winter in Antarctica and flies all the way from the north to the south pole and is the bird that travels the longest for migration.
That's all I have today. There is a bit more, but I don't have much time, but tomorrow is another and exciting day as well as the first journey on board our ship! I would like to give a shout out to my family and friends. I miss you and love you all. I can't wait to see you and tell you about everything when I get back! Thanks to all my sponsors who helped me with the fundraising for the trip!
Bo Yeon Jang, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The world is still bobbing to the ocean's rhythm as the expeditioners slowly drift off to their cabins. I'm also inside, bundled up and securely huddled in front of a laptop, but my mind is still on the Arctic sea outside. Today we finally boarded the much-awaited ship for the sea-based leg of our expedition. That in itself was an adventure, but it paled to what soon came after. On deck it's windy, and cold, and high- we can see the far-off fjords cut off by the sea. It was open; the sheer magnitude and strength was unimaginable. The not-quite-Arctic birds flew all around us and I could feel truly that we were a part of something much bigger and significant than ourselves. We had an escort of obliging dolphins enchanting our trip to the Arctic Circle, and a couple of humpback whales- the journey there and back will be unforgettable. It's kind of impossible to describe-in words or otherwise.
The beautiful fishing village of
Siglufjordur where our team boarded the ship
Students play volleyball waiting to board the ship
Kaleigh Spencer, Mistissini, Quebec
The boat was really big. So big my stomach kind of dropped when I saw it. But as I was climbing up I felt better. I felt like Jack Sparrow from Pirates in the Caribbean as soon as the boat started moving.
We weren't going for more than a few minutes when I heard there were whales off in the distance. Soon after we saw dolphins and they came a lot closer to the boat. So close I named one Boboy (like from in the movie Despicable Me). It was like they had a choreography going. It was like they were performing for us. They crossed over beneath the bow then came up and broke the surface and went under again. Up and down. Back and forth. Like a dance.
Now I'm headed off to bed. I'm going to dream about getting on a Zodiac in the morning.
Inside the Herring Museum
Darcy Kuppaq, Hall Beach, Nunavut
For the first time, I'm in a ship. I think it's so cool but I have to take Gravol every few hours. When I was getting on the ship, I got really excited and made everyone do the G (it's where two people fist pump). While I was in the ship getting to know it, my friends taught me a few traditional songs including throat singing. I think SOI is the best.
Students on the bow of the ship
Jack Pong, Hong Kong
Make every moment an experience" is a quote that I have tried to follow everyday on this expedition. There was one moment today that this quote really applied to. Today was the first day on our new floating home and I wanted to make sure I would remember every moment on this ship. Within 30 minutes of our departure there were already 2 dolphins swimming next to us and it was really an unforgettable moment. I was absolutely shocked that these wild dolphins were fearlessly swimming next to a massive ship and trying to interact with us. The dolphins would swim off after a while but they would always return. As I stood at the edge of the ship, the dolphins made one final return but instead of two dolphins, six dolphins swam to the front, travelling at the same speed as the ship. One by one, each dolphin swam off. The movement and the fluidity of the dolphins truly amazed me and just by observing the dolphins I've made that moment an experience that I will never forget. Finally, as the last dolphin swam off I felt it was a perfect way to welcome us to the many adventures we will encounter in the forthcoming days on the ship.
SOI team members getting ready for the ship to depart!
The Clipper Adventurer in port
Emerald Kains, Whitehorse, Yukon
So, today was day number 5 and the most amazing day yet! It was our first day on the Clipper Adventurer, our new home on the water, and I had a phenomenal experience on deck. While trying to spot whales, our group caught up with some dolphins! Just like in the movies, the dolphins were playing along side the ship; it was like they were having a race. At one point 5 or 6 of them were in front of the boat and I took some awesome photos!! That was the coolest thing that has happened so far on the trip and I know it's something I'm going to remember forever.
SOI Educator and Inuit elder David Serkoak
SOI Student Jo-Anne Idlout
Amaya Cherian-Hall, Whitehorse, Yukon
So far my trip has been very amazing and educational. I really enjoyed visiting the waterfall, it was so beautiful and the mist on my face was very refreshing. Apparently Iceland's first divorce happened there. Two married trolls moved to opposite sides of the waterfall because their interests were different. I also really enjoyed the herring festival, without any herring today. We played volleyball with 3 Icelandic girls. Our teams had about 15 people, we could hardly move. Wow!!! The ship is amazing! Dinner was so fancy. I had 7 or so utensils. I am so glad to have been given this opportunity!!!
A dolphin "bow-riding" the Clipper Adventurer
JULY 27 EARLY AFTERNOON UPDATE
12:00 PM - Siglufjordur, Iceland
Good afternoon everyone!
Just a quick update to let you know that we have added many new photos and journals to yesterday's page. We have new videos, too, and are presently uploading them. Check back this afternoon and visit our Expedition Video page.
All is well in Iceland. The team is on their way to Siglufjordur and will be boarding the ship in approximately one hour!
The MV Clipper Adventurer - our Team's Floating Home!
JULY 27 MORNING UPDATE
9:00 AM - Akureyri, Iceland
Good morning everyone! It's a sunny day and 17C in Akureyri, Iceland today. Perfect weather to jump on an expedition ship and sail into Arctic waters!
The team is currently wrapping up lunch and a presentation by our friends at the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri's beautiful Cultural Centre. They will have some free time after lunch to explore the community before jumping back on the buses and travelling an hour north to the picturesque village of Siglufjordur on the northern coast of Iceland.
Here, the team will board the Clipper Adventurer, check into their cabins, attend some safety lectures - and then head out on to the decks to wave goodbye to Akureyri!
Akureyri Cultural Centre
We received a big batch of journals and photos - and we are currently preparing them for the website. They should all be up in the next hour or so...
Stay Tuned for Further Updates!