I will miss cruising in the Zodiacs! These small boats are essential to our expedition not only for shuttling back and forth from ship to shore but also for getting up close to wildlife and gaining a perspective closer to the sea's surface. We wore orange life jackets while aboard, but stored them on shore while we were hiking.
Finally saw some Svalbard Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) up close! We were approached by a few different groups. This reindeer is a small subspecies of Rangifer tarandus endemic only to Svalbard and adapted to its harsh conditions. People are surprised at the short-legs and small heads of the animals. Since it is summer, their fur is a light yellowish brown.
Naturalist CT Ticknor provided excellent natural history interpretation, and in her characteristic style, she invited us all to participate in discussion. She spotted a days-old reindeer calf and explained that the Arctic is vast and so we have to look closely, listen closely. She also implored us to make choices to "live simply so that others may simply live."
Below is the segment of the VER about the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship that Brian filmed today. It was difficult to be articulate in a spontaneous interview out in the cold, but I was excited to share my appreciation for the program!
Tonight was also the last nightly recap in the lounge. Lucio explained the disembarkation procedures in detail before our last delicious sit down dinner. People used the shared computers to upload photos from yesterday's polar plunge and share photos for a guest slideshow.
Tonight, we enjoyed a bit of social time in the lounge with crew and guests. Aimee, Ellen and I spent time packing and reviewing our journals and photos. Tomorrow our voyage ends where it begins back in Longyearbyen, where the ship will dock and we will disembark. My Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is coming to an end. However, my missions of incorporating all my new learning into my curriculum and of sharing my Arctic story with as wide an audience as possible is just beginning.
Read the Lindblad Naturalist Daily Expedition Report (DER) here.