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Northwestern Nordaustland

Amazing what kind of ideas you can have while walking around between the old buildings in Kinnvika in dense fog: I have to have automats with my books at popular landing sites in Spitsbergen! If they don’t want to sell them on the ships here – some of the companies even pretend their guests don’t read. What do they think of their clients?! – then I have to meet them somewhere else. So I need automated selling points with automatic refill. I could see myself being content with one each at Gravneset in Magdalenefjord and in the harbours of Longyearbyen and Ny Ålesund.

That’s the kind of thoughts that can cross your mind when you are walking around in fog. Crazy, of course, but funny.

We couldn’t see much of the low shorelines around Lady Franklinsund either. A bit of a shame, as you don’t get there too often. It is very shallow and completely uncharted. Heinrich is one of the few skippers who are taking their small boats through there.

All this doesn’t bother you if you are a walrus. Then, almost nothing will bother you. This became pretty clear with this mighty fellow on an ice floe in Lady Franklinfjord.

The names are interesting: Brennevinsfjord, translates as booze bay or something similar. I guess that centuries ago some whalers had a wild party there, but nobody knows for sure. Barren rocks, a wild, rough country. Not the friendly tundra of the west coast, where it is lovely to hike for hours, where you have the feeling to be in a living country. Here, you are a guest for a short while, no more. If you stay too long, like Schröder-Stranz in 1912, the land may take you. Who knows. But anyway, we dare to go ashore in Booze bay for a few hours.

Click on thumbnail to open an enlarged version of the specific photo.

You usually don’t see tabular icebergs in the Arctic. They just don’t do them here. Only in Antarctica, there they are very common. Nevertheless, we saw one today, not the biggest one, but nice. Probably from the Russian Arctic, there are a few ice shelves there. As a consequence: Russia is Spitsbergen’s Antarctica.

last modification: 2014-08-19 · copyright: Rolf Stange