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June 23, 2016

I’m back from my blogging hiatus.

We had one last night on the ship and were told we were in a good place for whale watching. A wake up call came over the loud speaker around 2 am; “I’m sorry to disturb, but there are three large whales on the starboard side of the ship.”

I thought to myself, I wish they announced what type of whale as I didn’t want to get up for a humpback to view in the distance when I have snorkeled with them.

A little while later, we heard over the loud speaker, “We believe these are blue whales.”

Well, that got me out of bed. It is rare to spot the largest animal in the world. David and I, not appropriately dressed for the cold, scampered up the stairs to the deck to have a look. Along with other passengers and crew, we spotted some blows and dorsal fins, both near and far. There were a few pods of whales around, both blue and humpback. After about 45 minutes of waiting to see a fluke, we finally retreated inside to warm up.

Sharon came bursting through the door, and excitedly questioned, “Did you see the blue whale?”

“Yes, but only the blow and dorsal fin,” we replied.

“That’s all you usually ever see…back, back, back, fin…back, back, back, fin.” It was true. We saw the back for forever and then the fin. I always waited for the fin to take a picture, and then it would promptly go underwater. So, anyway, after we heard that is the best we’d see, we felt satisfied and went back to sleep.

We exited the ship the following morning. We had the rest of the day to spend in Longyearbyen. I recommend not doing this and booking the first flight out! I was worried we might miss the plane if our expedition was delayed, but I think it would be worth the risk. There are very few half-day tours in Longyearbyen, so there is not a lot to do. We purchased the brewery tour, but it turned out the brewery was closed, and the agency mistakenly sold it to us, so that wasted our day! We strolled in and out of all six or stores at least twice to try to find a “trip treat” for the kids. We finally settled on truffles from the northern most chocolatier in the world and a scarf.

We will be happy to get to Oslo! ETB

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