|Position:||78°14.0’N / 015°36.2’E|
|Wind:||various directions 1 knot|
Our adventures began quickly upon arriving in Longyearbyen. Some of us had arrived early but most had just flown in. Our ship m/v Plancius was on anchor in the harbour so we took our first zodiac ride not from the ship, but too it! A little rain did not dampen our spirits and it was a very exciting beginning of the voyage.
Once on‐board, with the help of the hotel crew we settled into our cabins and got acquainted with the layout of the ship, as it will be our home for the next 10 days. We were soon gathered in the observation lounge for several different welcome briefings. One by our expedition leader Christian and the rest of the expedition staff, and another from the hotel manager Michael. We as passengers are very multicultural/international group. All orientation material is given bilingual in
both German and English. We were also briefed by the First Officer Jaanus on ship safety and how to prepare for the worst. A drill of the general alarm (seven long blast followed by one long blast) was made, and we all donned the SOLAS orange life jackets and mustered in the lounge guided by crew and staff. After a roll call to as‐ sure everyone was present we went out to the lifeboats hoping to never actually have to use them.
We returned to our cabins briefly before regrouping with Captain Alexey in the lounge for a welcoming toast of champagne or juice before heading down to the dining room for our first scrumptious dinner prepared by Chef Ralf and his staff.
The clouds had continued to soften the skies, the waters were calm and only a slight swell was felt as we make our way to Blomstrandhalvoya. Most of us were eager to get out on deck to enjoy the arctic light, and enjoy views of northern fulmars, kittiwake gulls and whales in the distance. An exciting first day, the start of many more adventures to come in the following week.