Friday, July 3rd, 2014 (afternoon) - We cruised all the way to the polar ice cap – to the point we couldn't go any further because of the ice. There was a wall of big icebergs in front of us and beyond that it was solid ice. In was so strange to realize that we were only 568 miles from the top point of the world!
Only serious research vessels can go any further than this and only if those ships have ice breaking capabilities.
While we were there we lowered a tender into the ocean with some of the ship's officers and crew on board. They went to one of the icebergs and cut off a chunk of ice from the polar ice cap, loaded it on the tender, and brought it back to ship.
It was displayed on deck for photos, then it was chipped into ice cube-sized pieces. That night they offered a drink called a “Polar Bear” with a piece of the ice in it. It looked like Windex but the taste was okay. However, I'd never order another one but it was fun to have a drink with a chunk of the polar ice cap floating in it!
NOTE NOT IN JOURNALING: In the top panorama the ship was running parallel to the polar ice cap and we were leaving this area. There is a quiet here or a silence here that doesn't seem real. There was no wind blowing. There was no sound from the water or waves. There was just an eerie quiet.