Off the west coast of Greenland and roughly 250km north of the Arctic Circle you will find the Ilulissat icefjord. Here, one of the most active glaciers in the World calves ice into the sea. This active fjord is a proposed birthplace of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. After a long journey out of the fjord into Disko Bay, the berg was caught in the powerful west Greenland current and dragged down the eastern coast of Canada. The west bound Titanic and south bound iceberg did their fateful dance roughly 650km south of Newfoundland. Quite the journey for a berg. 💥 I recently took this photo while visiting the Ilulissat Icefjord. It offered sights of the largest icebergs I have ever seen. The beauty and serenity of ice almost makes you forget about their power. #therewasroomfortworose . . . #saveourplankton#marinebiology#iceberg#titanic#greenland#arctic@natgeoexpeditions@lindbladexp#travel#exploremoe#poles#moody#staycurious#stayinformed#staysalty
It was a lovely day at a latitude of 78 degrees North in the Greenland High Arctic. I put on my swimsuit and jumped into the near-freezing polar water. It was refreshing, to say the least. There was no time to waste as I had my mind set on a goal of reaching the 850ft ocean bottom. So I quickly changed into my onesie, put a hat over my wet & freezing hair, and loaded the ROV gear into the boat.
We only had 900ft of cable to reach the 850ft bottom; I knew we would be cutting it close, but I was hopeful. We quickly set the system up and deployed our trusty @videoray. The ROV hit a density change around 125ft. It was full of planktonic life, but was nearly impossible to pass through, even going full throttle.
After an hour of descent time, we still weren't close to the bottom. It was suggested that we pull the ROV up, but I wasn't ready to abort. The surrounding ice started to close in on us, so everyone was called to return to our main ship. Equally committed to the goal, the expedition leader and captain gave us the OK to stay. Hooray!
We finally passed 850ft of depth. Just as I was getting nervous about running out of cable, we smashed (a little too hard) into the bottom. You can see the camera glitch upon our landing at 869ft. The current was ripping and quickly pulling the ROV backwards. The video footage has been reversed to make it a little easier to watch.
Brittle stars, crinoids, urchins, and soft corals covered the silty bottom while other invertebrate life darted around the water column. It's so incredible to see what organisms live beneath the dark, icy waters. And exciting to think that we could be seeing things that no human ever has before!
Captain called asking if we saw the ice coming to attack us. One of my favorite radio calls ever. But yes, indeed, time to leave. @jamesfchyde slowly maneuvered our boat between the ice sheets as I pulled up 900ft of cable as quickly as possible.
Thankful for a team so dedicated to exploring new areas.
I spent six weeks with an incredible team exploring West Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic. Days were long and wild. Of course, my highlight was getting to dive in such remote and often uncharted waters. True exploration seems like a thing of the past, but expedition diving feels pretty close. I recognize how privileged I am to get to spend time in some of the World’s most remote (and incredible!) places. I am humbled. And forever thankful. My colleagues and I often discuss how we can help mitigate our visits to these places. An ongoing, circular conversation. I hope that sharing knowledge and passion about our wild spaces will empower those around me to become stronger wildlife advocates. Now, more than ever, these wild spaces need our attention. Wherever you live, I hope you take some extra time today to appreciate the great outdoors. #optoutside 📸 Thanks @jamesfchyde for being my personal photographer. And thanks @divedui for keeping me dry while diving in the polar water! . . . #saveourplankton#divedui#polarwater#greenland#arctic#ice#exploremore#linbladexpeditions#natgeoexpeditions@lindbladexp@natgeoexpeditions#ourchoicesmatter#scubadive#staycurious#stayinformed#staysalty