The Safari woke up to fog the next morning which meant a bit of a relax and leisurely breakfast before disembarking in to the huge metroplois of a little over 2000 people that is Quatatoq. Apparently it's Greenland's sixth largest town and even has a top flight football team - in a league of six...and today was match day. In fact all the season's matches were to be played over consequtive days, after the thaw and before the freeze starts again. A few of the guests and IH wanted to go to the match so we decided to join them. But begore that there was some after breakfast watching to be done before disembarking onto the tender for athe short ride to the quayside. There wasn't much going on in the harbour, a guest had reported a single early morning unidentified dolphin before the fog set in but other than that it was 'just' the usual Glaucous, Iceland. Great Black Backed Gulls and a small number of Lesser Black Backed Gulls.
It was a very mild day again now the fog was long gone, it was t-shirt sleeves weather again, not what we expected in Greenland at all. Over the hill from the eagles was a large glacial lake set in a depression in the mountains. It was school summer holidays and there were several kids enjoying a probably chilly swim and diving from the big rock above the house.
Eventually we arrived at the stadium and on the edge of the car park saw two things of interest. The first was this pretty little blue flower whose ID still eludes us. It was growing on the edge of the ditch separating the car park from the road. Again we weren't sure what the locals might have been thinking when they were watching two grown men, tourists at that, crawling around in a ditch on their hands and kneews photographing lordy knows what with their phones.
|Wonder if they ever fill that huge terrace|
Birds also seen around and about were the ubiquitous Ravens, a few Snow Buntings, Common Redpolls and one guest got a Lapland Bunting using the Merlin App when they heard an unfamiliar call on their walk aruond the lake.
Back aboard Borealis it was chastening to hear tales of guests being offered slices of whale meat in the fish market, some even tried it! On the way back to the ship the tender went past the biggest building in town, the seal skinning factory - it had a lovely mural of a Harp Seal sitting on an icefloe painted on it; you know, that photo we really wanted to get.
Once we got going back down the fjord we saw a couple of packs of Harp Seals along with two individual seals' heads. Could these have been either Bearded Seals and/or Hooded Seals or were they 'just' Harp Seals that had become separated from their pack?
Closer to the open sea we had a Humpback Whale and more Fin Whales.
And not just the Wheatears he also found a pair of mating moths, again of unknown species - somehow between us we'd all neglected to pack our concise guide to the moths of Greenland. And no he didn't see any sign of the aurora.
Our penultimate full day at sea was a breezy but mild day, the wind giving us a choppy sea making cetacean spotting difficult and getting a confident ID even more so. It turned out to be another odd day at sea. Before breakfast we'd seen several Fin Whale blows but not a single bird, not even a Fulmar! After breakfast it was no better and hard work trying to enthuse the remaining few guests that were sticking it out with us over a Fulmar or two every hour - it really was that dead out there...climate change changing fish/plankton distributions, bird flu, just a 'bad' patch of ocean? Who knows but it was desperatly quite for long stretches. After lunch a few Great Shearwaters broke the deadlock along with just two Manx Shearwaters and AB copped for a Sooty Shearwater. A single distant auk remained unidentified.
Eventualy a bit of blubbery action came our way with a pod of Common Dolphins racing past and under the ship, a Sperm Whale was seen fairly well as was another Fin Whale. Better was to come though. AB and a coupleof the passengers spotted some 'wrong' disturbance in the choppy water about a mile or more ahead of the ship. It took a while before we got on to it but then we saw some big breaches including two animals breaching together, at first we though they had the look of big Blue Fin Tuna about them but they were even too big for that to be right. Despite the incredible distance AB managed to fire some shots off and caught a couple breaches.