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Daily Archives: 30. December 2013 − News & Stories

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com 2013, 2014: look back and ahead

Most of us have sen­sed it by now: the year 2013 is almost over. Also for me, for us, for Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com, a lot has hap­pen­ed in 2013 and a lot will hap­pen in 2013. What? Have a look at the­se 4 posts.

One of many high­lights in 2013: the polar bear fami­ly in Tem­pel­fjord, ear­ly May.

polar bear family in Tempelfjord

Thank you and hap­py new year!

It is still me, Rolf Stan­ge, who is behind this web­site, wri­ting the books, lea­ding the polar voy­a­ges told about on this site and taking the pho­tos. But none of this would be pos­si­ble with all the­se polar enthu­si­asts who are part of all this. I can not men­ti­on ever­y­bo­dy here who has been part of one of the trips, who is hel­ping to make the web­site hap­pen or to get the books on paper and out into the world etc, and some don’t neces­s­a­ri­ly want to read their name on the inter­net. By the way, the inter­net … how did Roald Amund­sen orga­ni­ze his polar expe­di­ti­ons wit­hout it?

Even the youn­gest ones are keen to get invol­ved when it comes to my books 😉

Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com-publishing house

And last but not least: ever­y­bo­dy who was on board in the far north or deep south, at good humour in any kind of wea­ther. Thank you for being part of it! Wit­hout you, we wouldn’t be able to tra­vel the Arc­tic or Ant­ar­c­tic, and it wouldn’t be half of the fun. Let’s go again – and all the best to you for the new year, any­whe­re bet­ween the poles!


Some of the crew of Anti­gua, remo­ving a big fishing net that had drifted on to a remo­te beach in Wood­fjord. After a long day’s work, this wouldn’t hap­pen wit­hout quite some enthu­si­asm for the arc­tic envi­ron­ment. Gre­at! On the left, the­re is Michel­le van Dijk, sea­so­ned Spits­ber­gen tra­vel­ler and owner of the camp­si­te in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. On the right, Joa­chim, well known to many of you as Cap­tain of the Anti­gua. Thank you!

Hei­mir from Ice­land, Cap­tain of Ópal, and his crew made the Green­land trips in Sep­tem­ber unfor­gettable for us. Gre­at – thank you! We are loo­king for­ward to 2015!

Heimir auf Ópal, Scoresbysund 2013

2013, 2014: Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com’s look back – the publi­shing busi­ness

The publi­shing house Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com has been busy in 2013 as much as all the tra­ve­ling allo­wed. The fourth revi­sed Ger­man edi­ti­on of the gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard is out. Sin­ce the first edi­ti­on came out in 2007, both the Ger­man and the Eng­lish ver­si­ons have been updated about every second year, that makes one new ver­si­on each year. In other words, this is quite a long-term pro­ject which is bin­ding quite a lot of resour­ces on a regu­lar basis.

In 2013, the fourth revi­sed ver­si­on of the gui­de­book Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard was published.

Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Late­ly this year, our new Spits­ber­gen calen­dar for 2014 came out. It won’t be the last one. But may­be, the next polar calen­dar, for 2015, will be an ant­ar­c­tic one? Let’s see. What do you think?

Der Spitz­ber­gen-Kalen­der für 2014.

Spitzbergen-Kalender 2014

New book pro­jects are on their way, but con­side­ring all the other pro­jects and trips of 2013, the­re wasn’t enough time to get some­thing finis­hed this year and not in the very near future. But things are on their way. More about it when we are get­ting the­re.

This famous pho­to taken by Her­bert Pon­ting shows Robert F. Scott in the hut at Cape Evans in the Ross Sea, being busy wri­ting some­thing not too long befo­re he star­ted the voya­ge to the south pole, which was to be his last one. Regar­ding the wri­ting, I hope I find time for it in 2014.

Robert F. Scott, Cape Evans

2013, 2014: Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com’s look back – pho­to­gra­phy and the inter­net

2013 has been a very suc­cessful year regar­ding polar pho­to­gra­phy. From all tho­se trips to the Arc­tic and Ant­ar­c­tic, I have brought a wealth of good mate­ri­al back home. Some of it is alre­a­dy published as part of the tri­plog, pho­to gal­lery and slide­show that come with most trips, a few ones are part of the Spits­ber­gen calen­dar 2014, and more will be seen in future books and calen­dars.

The 360 degree navigab­le pan­ora­ma images are rela­tively new ter­ri­to­ry in pho­to tech­ni­que. The coll­ec­tion of polar pan­ora­mas on this web­site is alre­a­dy the lar­gest of its kind on the world wide web, and it has images of places that have never befo­re been pho­to­gra­phed this way! The­re is still unpu­blished mate­ri­al wai­ting to go out, as the pro­ces­sing is quite time con­sum­ing, and the­re is defi­ni­te­ly still far more work to be done in 2014 and bey­ond.

It does not mat­ter whe­re I tra­vel in the Arc­tic or Ant­ar­c­tic: the came­ra is never far away. In this case, it is insi­de an old bar­rel.

camera in the barrel

The results can be seen on Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com. Also bey­ond the new pan­ora­ma coll­ec­tion, quite a lot has hap­pen­ed the­re. The Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news sec­tion has got more than one post per week in 2013, making sto­ries and news from the Arc­tic acces­si­ble in one site in a lan­guage that most peo­p­le can read. In the future, we will increase the fre­quen­cy of pos­ting and include news from other parts of the Arc­tic and the Ant­ar­c­tic. By the way, the Ger­man part of this web­site (Spitzbergen.de) was the first polar news blog within the Ger­man spea­king inter­net.

Many parts of the web­site have been updated regar­ding both con­tents and advan­ced tech­no­lo­gy. As an exam­p­le, the regio­nal descrip­ti­ons of Sval­bard are now get­ting pho­to gal­le­ries to illus­tra­te the indi­vi­du­al parts of the Spits­ber­gen archi­pe­la­go. This is an ongo­ing pro­cess. For exam­p­le, Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Edgeøya and Barent­søya have alre­a­dy got their gal­le­ries, more will fol­low.

Quite important­ly, the Eng­lish sec­tion of this web­site has got its own domain sin­ce ear­ly 2013, which is obvious­ly spitsbergen-svalbard.com. Well, you know this, other­wi­se you wouldn’t be rea­ding this. But plea­se don’t for­get to update any links. And I am gra­teful for links any­way! All rele­vant con­tents – and pret­ty much ever­y­thing is rele­vant in one or the other way – is published in both Eng­lish and Ger­man.

And final­ly, Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com has got its own Face­book site sin­ce sum­mer 2013, whe­re all posts are made in both Eng­lish and Ger­man. While I am tra­ve­ling, the­re are regu­lar sto­ries and pho­tos from the field. The­se are of cour­se also acces­si­ble wit­hout being on Face­book, you don’t need to log on to read the stuff pos­ted the­re.

2013, 2014: Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com’s look back – polar voy­a­ges

The core of my polar acti­vi­ties in 2013 has been the direct, unfil­te­red expe­ri­ence of the Arc­tic and Ant­ar­c­tic. This has always been and will always be the most important part for me, of my life. And regar­ding this, 2013 has defi­ni­te­ly been a very suc­cessful year. Some high­lights:

The semi-cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ti­on of Ant­ar­c­ti­ca, inclu­ding a visit to the Ross Sea, was wit­hout any doubt a high­light and some­thing every polar enthu­si­ast will have on his or her wish­list. I am glad that I could be part of it in Febru­ary 2013. The next voy­a­ges of this kind are sche­du­led for ear­ly 2015, and I am alre­a­dy loo­king for­ward to it!

One of many unfor­gettable polar impres­si­ons in 2013: Emper­or pen­gu­ins in the Ross Sea, ear­ly Febru­ary.

Emperor penguins, Ross Sea

Seve­ral months in Spits­ber­gen in win­ter and spring 2013 were defi­ni­te­ly a high­light bey­ond the per­spec­ti­ve of 2013. Just have a look at the pho­to gal­le­ries!

On the way to the east coast of Spits­ber­gen, April 2013.

on the way to the east coast of Spitsbergen

This was fol­lo­wed by seve­ral voy­a­ges in the arc­tic on board SV Anti­gua. Always a high­light, that is fore sure. And this sum­mer was cer­tain­ly no dis­ap­point­ment. We star­ted in Nor­way, went to Bear Island and then around Spits­ber­gen seve­ral times. Inten­se arc­tic expe­ri­en­ces of all kinds, beau­tiful impres­si­ons. This kind of arc­tic voya­ge will cer­tain­ly con­ti­nue to be a focus for me.

This curious polar bear kept swim­ming around Anti­gua for quite a while. Unfor­gettable for all of us who were the­re!

polar bear swimming near Antigua

Then fol­lo­wed two trips in Score­s­by­sund in east Green­land on SV Ópal from Ice­land in Sep­tem­ber. Just gre­at. Beau­tiful, big Green­land. Good boat, good peo­p­le. I am loo­king for­ward to more of this in 2015.

With SV Ópal in Score­s­by­sund, east Green­land. Again: Auch hier: Unfor­gettable for all of us who were the­re!

Ópal in Scoresbysund, east Greenland

In Novem­ber I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to visit the South Sand­wich Islands. Rare­ly visi­ted, and new land for me. Exci­ting stuff! This was part of a voya­ge that went to some of the gre­at places on Earth: the Falk­land Islands, South Geor­gia and the Ant­ar­c­tic Pen­in­su­la.

Saun­ders Island, South Sand­wich Islands. And once more: Unfor­gettable for all of us who were the­re!

Saunders Island, South Sandwich Islands

I will con­ti­nue tra­vel­ling in polar are­as as long as I can, by all means. For sure. I’ll be in Spits­ber­gen seve­ral times next year: soon in the polar night, then during the spring sea­son which is ide­al for any kind of win­ter tra­ve­ling, and of cour­se during the sum­mer sai­ling sea­son. I’ll tra­vel on sai­ling ships of tall ship size (Anti­gua) and smal­ler (Arc­ti­ca II, a true arc­tic yacht). In July, I’ll spend about a week on Jan May­en. And I’ll be back to Green­land in 2015 at the latest. 2014 will be too short. As every year.

Cour­se for the Arc­tic in 2014!

Course for the Arctic!


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