Canada - Ellesmere to Newfoundland

Ice carved this land from the smallest island to the highest peak. Bowman Island, Makinson Inlet, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Fucus and other intertidal algae at Gadd's Wall, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada

A mother polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and her cubs traversing the sea ice near Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

An Atlantic wolf fish (Anarhicus lupus) on Gadd's wall, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada

A fiery sunset over Ellesmere Island with first year sea ice in the foreground, Nunavut, Canada.

The aurora borealis, or northern lights as seen from the bow of National Geographic Explorer, Foxe Basin, Nunavut, Canada

An Atlantic wolf fish (Anarhichus lupus) peers out from its den. The males of this species will guard the eggs once fertilized.

The sea raven (Hemitripterus americanus) is one of the most camouflaged and unique fish in the North Atlantic. Gadd's Wall, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada

The sea raven (Hemitripterus americanus) will lay in wait along drop-offs and slopes. Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Canada

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are most successful when they have lots of stable sea ice to hunt from. Nares Strait, Nunavut, Canada

The PLM-27 was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942, one of 4 sunk near Bell Island that year in an attempt to limit the export of iron ore back to Europe. Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada

The wrecks of Bell Island were all merchant ships moving iron ore from Newfoundland to Europe. Torpedoed and laden with heavy cargo, most sank very quickly and all sit upright where they have turned into artificial reefs. PLM-27, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada

Canada geese (Branta canadensis) photobomb a mother Atlantic walrus and her large calf (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus). Foxe Basin, Nunavut, Canada

Clouds reflected on the mirror-calm waters of Nares Strait, a narrow channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

Male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have long guard hairs on their front legs and can be much larger than female bears. This lone male was later seen stalking and chasing a bearded seal unsuccessfully.

Once a merchant cargo ship carrying iron ore from Newfoundland to Europe, SS Lord Strathcona now sits upright in Conception Bay, near Bell Island, torpedoed and sank by a German U-boat in 1942. Its bridge and structure are now completely covered by giant plumose anemones (Metridium sp.).

American lobsters (Homarus americanus) migrate to shallow, warm waters during the summer breeding season where they also shed their exoskeleton. In the winter they will retreat to deeper, colder, and more stable locations.

Sometimes reaching a diameter of 5 feet, the lion's mane jelly (Cyanea capillata) is one of the largest jellies on the planet. St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada

American lobsters (Homarus americanus) are either right-clawed or left-clawed. When approached they will lunge out of their dens and pinch with their dominant, slicing claw. Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Canada

It took National Geographic Explorer 3 days and the aide of Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Pierre Radisson to pass through the ice-choked Fury and Hecla Strait.

Tri-peaked iceberg, Nares Strait, Nunavut, Canada

We encountered several sites that were clearly urchin barrens. In these places, kelp cover was minimal or totally gone and biodiversity was much lower than in areas with kelp. This hermit crab was the highlight of a dive near L'anse aux Meadow, Newfoundland, Canada

Green urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) densities at some sites was truly incredible, leading to urchin barrens with little diversity and almost no fish. Despite the lack of kelp, we were lucky to find this banded gunnel (Pholis fasciata) near St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada

Gadd's Wall in Gros Morne National Park is covered with pink soft corals due to the strong tidal currents. Photography on the wall can be difficult during running tides.

Fucus reflected on the surface at Gadd's Wall, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada

Makinson Inlet, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Cunners or bergalls (Tautogolabrus adspersus) are fearless fish that will approach and even bite at a diver, their gear, or cameras.

The northern lights or aurora borealis as seen from the bridge of National Geographic Explorer, Foxe Basin, Nunavut, Canada

© 2017 by Justin Hofman contact@justin-hofman.com