I'm talking with our Arctic cruise expedition leader at the bridge, curious about our progress across the Davis Strait from Greenland to Canada. Suddenly one of my fellow passengers shouts "whale, 1 o'clock". I push open the door and shout for the kids. A second whale breaches at 2 o'clock, followed by several others. Within moments an announcement is made on the ship speakers and our onboard biologist comes out to inform us that we are surrounded by Northern Bottlenose whales. Since they tend to spend up to an hour feeding near the ocean floor, Northern Bottlenose whales can be difficult to spot at the surface. Few of our expedition staff have ever seen them. A few minutes later, she announces that there is a second pod, as well, these are Long-Finned Pilot whales. The site is breathtaking. Two northern bottlenose come right up to the ship directly in front of me. I can see their full bodies silhouetted a few feet beneath the green water. I watch as they dive under the ship. Soon other whales follow suit. I watch a half dozen approach only a few meters from the ship and give a tremendous show, water spouting from their blowholes. Tears are streaming down my face. I’ve never had such an awe inspiring wildlife encounter. Read more of Mary's mother-daughter Arctic adventure. Click here!