We travelled south down the east coast of Baffin Island and in the top end of iceberg alley.  Some of the icebergs are calved from glaciers on Ellesmere Island but most come from Greenland.  The latter travel north in the West Greenland Current then turn and head south through Baffin Bay and the North Atlantic riding the Labrador Current.  They leave their mother-glacier as dirty, grubby grey masses of ice but before long, ocean spray and rain and snow turn them into the gleaming white bergs we typically see.  They come in all shapes and sizes.

iceberg Iceberg

 

 

 

 

 

Iceberg

Iceberg

 

Caption: Some of the icebergs in Baffin Bay. Photos top left and center: Justin Peter. Top right: Ann Frederking. Photos bottom: Justin Peter.

 

We reached Gibbs Fjord and turned into it in search of Narwhal.  These are the whales with the Unicorn type tusk, the male’s is considerably larger than the female’s.  The scenery was drop dead spectacular and we did see a small pod of Narwhal working their way along a cliff wall but we did not get a good look at them.  They were some distance away and they did not come out of the water more than a few inches as they moved along.  The crew expected to see more and it was borderline wind to put the zodiacs in the water so we continued along.  We travelled almost fifty miles to the end of the fjord.  The shore, bank and the terminal bay are all gravel bottom. The Narwhal come to this area to scrape their old skin and growths off on the gravel.  Unfortunately none decided to do it that day.  Also we did not get to shore.  Winds were still borderline high and there was a Polar Bear sow with a cub at the landing site who apparently felt she has squatter’s rights.

We headed back to Baffin Bay.  It was late in the day and it was getting very cold.  The cliffs began to whiten and we were caught in squalls and threatening weather.  The captain had the pedal down all the way to ensure he got to the open seas before true fog rolled in and shut us down.  Again, I am adding a large number of photographs to try to project the tremendous natural beauty of the fjord.

beginning of Gibbs FjordNorth facing side of Gibbs FjordLooking along Gibbs Fjord. Justin Peter

Captions: Left: Beginning of Gibbs Fjord. Center:North facing side of fjord.  Looking along Gibbs  Fjord. Photo by Justin Peter.

Cliff edge near end of fjord.

Top of ice pack near end of fjord

 

Captions: Left: Cliff edge near end of fjord. Right: Top of ice pack near end of fjord. Photos by Justin Peter.

 

 

Rock formation

Rock formation

 

Caption: Rock formations, snow and ice near far end of fjord. Photo on left by Justin Peter

Rock formation

Rock formation

 

 

Caption: Rock formations along the channel on the way out of Gibbs Fjord.

 

 

rock formations

Rock formation

 

Caption: Rock formations along the channel on the way out of Gibbs Fjord.  Left photo by Justin Peter.

 

 

Final look back at Gibbs Fjord with storm clouds worsening.  Photo Justin Peter.

It had been a great day even if we hadn’t gotten up close and personal with a Narwhal or to explore the headlands of the fjord on foot.

We again headed south in Baffin Bay along the east coast of Baffin Island.