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Yearly Archives: 2014 − News & Stories


Raudfjord

Time for some exer­cise, which we got while hiking a good 10 kilo­me­tres along lagoons and a big lake in a silent val­ley. Later, the world disap­peared lar­ge­ly behind a grey curtain, which wasn’t too bad, some rest was nee­ded by most on board. Having been on watch last night may have play­ed a role here.

Nevertheless, sit­ting out­side on deck around the BBQ, spot­ting a polar bear fami­ly in the fog … again, one of the­se days!

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

The high north

Actual­ly I thought I shouldn’t wri­te anything. The pic­tures tell the sto­ry, don’t they?

But I can’t real­ly keep my fin­gers off it. This lovely litt­le bay at North Cape (not the one you are thin­king of) was com­ple­te­ly unknown and unchar­ted. It was a mas­ter­pie­ce of navi­ga­ti­on by Hein­rich to take the Arc­ti­ca II in the­re, fin­ding a safe ancho­ra­ge for the night. And it was even more of a mas­ter­pie­ce to get her (and us) out of the­re again next morning, after the ice had sett­led down in the ent­ran­ce.

Who would have thought 2 weeks ago that we would make it to Sjuøya­ne, the fur­thest north up here in the far north? The arc­tic, here at least, is real­ly arc­tic this year, with a lot of ice. Out of reach. This is how it should be. But our cal­cu­la­ti­on, to start the trip going south, get­ting later to the north to give the ice more time to loo­sen up a bit, was qui­te right. Per­fect timing! It was just the right day for a dash up to Sjuøya­ne, which pre­sen­ted them­sel­ves real­ly the arc­tic way, with snow and ice-cold wind. The last win­ter hasn’t real­ly left, the next one is alrea­dy well on its way. A place for­got­ten by the sum­mer.

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

A free ice cream who can tell me whe­re Nord­lysøya­ne are without a look at the map (the ice cream is to be picked up on Nord­lysøya­ne, just in case). I can tell you that the­re is a rather curious sub-adult polar bear the­re.

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.

Sou­thwes­tern Nord­aus­t­land

(Thurs­day and Fri­day, 14th and 15th August 2014) – How often do we see gla­ciers from the boat or from the tun­dra? Every day. How often do we view down from gla­ciers to fjord and coast? Exact­ly.

This trip was meant to be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to do things that you don’t nor­mal­ly do on ship-based trips here. Even more so than other­wi­se on the trips that I do. One of the things that you would not nor­mal­ly get to do on a Spits­ber­gen crui­se is a gla­cier hike. The­re is this nice litt­le gla­cier in Augus­t­abuk­ta, they cal­led it Marie­breen in 1868. It is actual­ly part of the ice cap Vega­fon­na, which again is con­nec­ted to Aus­t­fon­na, more than 8400 squa­re kilo­me­tres lar­ge and Europe’s lar­gest ice cap. Dive into this weird icy world of gla­ciers for a few hours. Mean­de­ring meltwa­ter rivers with blue water, shi­ning white ice under a hea­vy grey sky that is mer­ging seem­less­ly into the ice cap on the hori­zon. A step out of the world of lea­ving things. The­re is not­hing ali­ve here. Ice and water, some stones, that’s it.

Cros­sing some­thing has always some­thing fasci­na­ting about it. It does not have to be an inland ice of con­ti­nen­tal sca­le. A pen­in­su­la can be enough. You are drop­ped off and you see your boat sai­ling away. That makes you feel a bit like Nan­sen, who was drop­ped off at the East Green­land coast in 1888. His choice was simp­le: reach the west coast of die. The rest is histo­ry.

Of cour­se, it isn’t qui­te like that in the 21st cen­tu­ry any­mo­re. In case of any unex­pec­ted real dif­fi­cul­ties, you grab the radio or the sat pho­ne and ask the boat to return. But still, it is an exci­ting thing.

21 kilo­me­tres of tun­dra and polar desert, rid­ges of basalt rocks and fos­sils older than the hills, frost pat­ter­ned ground and meltwa­ter rivers. A day long enough to real­ly get lost in this ama­zing coun­try, mental­ly, I mean. Lis­tening to the water run­ning in rivers and to the wind (the­re was more than enough of the lat­ter, to be honest. It was free­zing old at times.

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

At the end of the hike, on the shore of Palan­der­buk­ta, the­re was an old trap­per hut, whe­re the wind was blowing through holes that were doors and win­dows many years ago. Weird sto­ry. The two trap­pers who built the hut pro­bab­ly mana­ged to blow them­sel­ves up in Janu­a­ry 1934. One of them was hit while he was in for serious busi­ness in the out­house. Not a nice place to die. He was found the­re mon­ths later, still sit­ting, fro­zen solid. Weird sto­ry. They never found out in details what had real­ly hap­pen­ed.

But for us, the day had a very hap­py end when we came back to the boat and sal­mon was almost rea­dy 🙂

Bar­entsøya

The sou­the­as­tern islands are real­ly polar bear coun­try. Bears ever­y­whe­re, it can be dif­fi­cult to find a place whe­re you can go for a walk. In Free­man­sund, ever­ything is occu­p­ied by the­se crea­my-white polar sheep. And of cour­se, you might ask, why. The ques­ti­on „what are they doing here? The­re isn’t anything they can eat?“ is one that I hear about 100 times every day. One easy, but nevertheless true, ans­wer is becau­se it is their home, after all. They are living here. They want to be here. They could go some­whe­re else, if they wan­ted to, inclu­ding the pack ice in the north. They would be the­re wit­hin a few days, but they stay here.

But of cour­se it remains a valid ques­ti­on what they find to eat. Some bears here are qui­te fat, the blub­ber has to come from some­whe­re.

I’d qui­te like to find out, so I have deve­lo­ped a habit that might help me to learn more about it: I have star­ted to take pic­tures of polar bear shit. Every time I find some drop­pings on the tun­dra, I grab the came­ra and press the but­ton. Unli­kely that this collec­tion turns into a pho­to book some day. You may find it stran­ge that I walk around here pho­to­gra­phing shit. As you wish, I don’t care. I find it inte­res­ting. You just have to take a clo­se look. This morning, I found smas­hed rein­de­er bones in one pile of shit. Teeth in ano­t­her, also rein­de­er. Many times, I see fea­thers, and vege­ta­ti­on remains are very com­mon. Here you are, that’s an ans­wer get­ting shape, isn’t it? So I am more than hap­py to keep going with this shit pho­to­gra­phy busi­ness, whenever the oppor­tu­ni­ty ari­ses.

Chan­ge of sub­ject (anyo­ne still with me?). Today has been the col­dest day of the sum­mer up here so far, just 2 or 3 degrees. Qui­te cold, when you inclu­de the fresh eas­ter­ly bree­ze. Whe­re is the sum­mer? The flowers loo­se their colours, the lea­ves of the polar wil­low chan­ge their colours on lar­ge are­as now.

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

The tun­dra over which we are wal­king is a real wha­le ceme­ta­ry. Several thousands of years ago, when this used to be the coast, dozens of wha­le car­cas­ses must have drifted ashore here.

Ryke Yse­øya­ne

Some pla­ces have got fasci­na­ting names, they keep just sound­ing in my mind, vibra­ting, genera­ting a drawing power almost like a magnet. May­be it hel­ps to spend evenings with maps ins­tead of books some­ti­mes, to get a per­spec­ti­ve on the remo­teness of some of the­se pla­ces. Or to hike around in Spits­ber­gen. It takes four days on foot from Lon­gye­ar­by­en to the east coast. So that is the end of the world. From this end of the world, you can see Edgeøya on the hori­zon. Sit­ting the­re, on a morai­ne hill on the east coast, with tired legs, loo­king across Storfjord to Edgeøya, makes you dream of get­ting the­re one day. You know it will pro­bab­ly never be in reach, but who knows. Then, it means some­thing dif­fe­rent to you, it is some­thing very spe­cial to get the­re one day, com­pa­red to just being the­re sud­den­ly, ano­t­her place on a crui­se whe­re you are sud­den­ly to go and see some ani­mals, without ever having heard the name of the place befo­re, without remem­be­ring it bey­ond the evening of the same day. Any­way … I am drif­ting away. So, ima­gi­ne the east coast is the end of your world at some sta­ge, and from the­re, you can see Edgeøya. And you know, the­re are still some small, very lonely islands behind it. Ryke Yse­øya­ne, the Ryke Yse Islands.

In short words, they are far away from ever­ything.

Dark, bleak basalt islands, rough and wild. And as men­tio­ned, this name: Ryke Yse! Nobo­dy could think of a name like that. Ryke Yse was pro­bab­ly a Dut­ch wha­ling cap­tain, 17th cen­tu­ry. Thank God his name was not, say, Fred Cle­ver. I don’t think I would be inte­res­ted in going to the Fred Cle­ver Islands. But so … wild place. Only two dar­ed to win­ter the­re. Only one sur­vi­ved. A rough land­s­cape. Edgy doleri­te rock, fal­ling apart into sharp blocks, cove­r­ed with lichens, steep cliffs, a home for Black guil­lemots.

And we even made it on 2 out of the­se 3 litt­le islands!

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

Time to get on, then. Many kilo­me­tres of gla­cier front on our port side during the later after­noon. A wall of marb­le, all shades of blue and grey you can think of, sea, ice, sky. Hard to belie­ve this is the same island that has such a colour­ful, friend­ly tun­dra on the other side. But well, it is bey­ond the end of the world. What do you expect.

Edgeøya

(Sunday and Mon­day, 10th and 11th August 2014) – Time is fly­ing. It feels as if I have not writ­ten anything in a week, but has been 2 days only. But the­se were qui­te busy.

Going ashore on »unknown« islands is one of the grea­test plea­su­res of a polar tra­vel­ler. Ama­zing how much you will almost always find, espe­cial­ly on tho­se small islands around sou­thern Edgeøya. Hun­ters have been the­re for cen­tu­ries, they have left their traces and some­ti­mes their own remains in the now autumn-colou­red tun­dra.

Sou­thern Edgeøya was the main area of the polar bear hun­ters deca­des ago. The backy­ard of the polar bear king’s palace is now occu­p­ied by wal­rus­ses. Their curiou­si­ty equals ours. Man and beast – who is more exci­ted about the other one?

A wal­rus was play­ing a minor, but important rule then on Halvmå­neøya. Some hap­py polar bears were the focus of the atten­ti­on of some hap­py humans. No zoo could arran­ge a more impres­si­ve fee­ding event. And this is not a zoo, this is the real thing. Without luck, you won’t see anything. With luck, ever­ything is pos­si­ble.

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

A visit to the legen­da­ry trap­per sta­ti­on Bjør­ne­borg com­ple­tes an exci­ting visit to the realm of polar bears, wal­rus­ses and their human stal­kers in the old adven­tur­ous days. Good sto­ries. Good they came to an abso­lu­te end in 1973.

Kval­vå­gen

Lea­ving our ancho­ra­ge under sails and sun, pas­sing lar­ge ice­bergs, that meant star­ting the day in a lovely way.

I wasn’t qui­te sure if we were able to keep it like that; this gent­le swell on the rocky, expo­sed east coast might be trou­ble. But going the­re and having a look is always the best thing to do. It tur­ned out to be sur­pri­sin­gly easy.

An excur­si­on to Juras­sic Park, or rather Cret­ace­ous Park. I have heard that the­re is even a report about the famous dino­saur tracks in the latest edi­ti­on of Sval­bard­pos­ten, from last week. Good timing. Now we want to see the real thing. Big foot­prints of big, evil, meat-eating dino­saurs, who left the marks of their big, sharp claws in the mud­dy sand more than 100 mil­li­on years ago (some­ti­mes, exc­tinc­tion of spe­ci­es isn’t such a bad thing at all …). The­re are qui­te a few of the­se tracks here, but most of them qui­te wea­the­red. But one or two are still well visi­ble. It took us some time, but we found them in the end.

But this rocky coast, the lovely flowers and the view over the wild east coast would be worth a day alo­ne! You have to take such an oppor­tu­ni­ty. How often do you get to a place like this, on such a sun­ny day? Even on a calm day like today, the surf on the shal­lows is qui­te impres­si­ve.

And the per­spec­ti­ve from 250 metres doesn’t lea­ve anything to be desi­red. Also the spor­ti­ve aspect was final­ly satis­fied. Viewing over almost the who­le of Storfjord, to Edgeøya and the east coast far to the south, and Nor­we­gi­an cho­co­la­te. What a place, what a life!

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

Later, time to relax while we cross Storfjord over to Edgeøya. The sies­ta is inter­rup­ted by some Fin­wha­les and dol­phins.

Isbuk­ta

Some­ti­mes, 200 metres are more than enough to have the world below you. And if this world is Sør­kapp Land with its wide gla­ciers and some of Spitsbergen’s finest moun­tains, under a blue sky and a bright sun, then it is one of life’s bet­ter moments.

Stel­lingfjel­let has one of the archipelago’s lar­gest guil­lemot colo­nies, high up on the cliffs. Ten thousands of them. It would rival famous Alkef­jel­let in Hin­lo­pen Strait, but the first floor is unin­ha­bi­ted and the visitor’s lounge a bit more distant.

High surf on the beach. A polar bear is roa­ming around, loo­king for birds that have fal­len down from the colo­ny. Our first bear.

The­re is one gla­cier after the other on the east coast, sepa­ra­ted by steep, dark cliffs. Inhos­pi­ta­ble and wild.

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

We find a silent ancho­ra­ge in a bay that does not even exist. Vir­gin land, which appeared just very recent­ly under the retrea­ting gla­ciers. We don’t miss the chan­ge to explo­re it a bit just befo­re mid­ni­ght, fin­ding ammo­ni­tes and polar bear tracks with sur­pri­sin­gly lar­ge ice­bergs in beau­ti­ful evening light in the back­ground.

Horn­sund, Süd­kap

Last night, we sai­led the west coast down to Hyt­tevi­ka, just north of Horn­sund. A calm ancho­ra­ge, what else would you want?

Trap­per legends like Wan­ny Wold­stad and Odd Ivar Ruud all had their good rea­sons to make Hyt­tevi­ka their home for their arc­tic hun­ter lives. On a nice day like today, it is an arc­tic para­di­se. A cosy hut, hid­den behind quar­zi­te rocks. Rein­de­er on mos­sy tun­dra, screa­ming Litt­le auks high up on the slo­pes.

Horn­sund, howe­ver, was not in good shape today. Win­dy and most­ly grey and rai­ny. Not a place to be today. So we left quick­ly from the­re, hoping for more luck on the outer coast. Still, win­dy. But our fearless skip­per Hein­rich took Arc­ti­ca II through Mesund, bet­ween the islands off the sou­thern tip of Spits­ber­gen, saving us from many uncom­for­ta­ble miles.

e-a6q_Hyttevika_07Aug14_001

A calm ancho­ra­ge was all we wan­ted at the end of the day, and we found it in Isbuk­ta. Mid­ni­ght rein­de­er stew roun­ded the day nice­ly off.

Bellsund

I’m afraid that I will pro­bab­ly wri­te more again than anyo­ne will want to read. Well, that’s life. Not my pro­blem, any­way, I am only wri­ting it, I don’t have to read it.

A lovely gla­cier in sunshi­ne as „ear­ly“ morning exer­cise.

Then a trip back into the past. A tour that I alrea­dy wan­ted to do in 2011, but some­thing was in the way back then, a polar bear on the beach, or bad wea­ther, or both, I don’t remem­ber. Back then, the­re were peop­le with me who are now again on board. Ano­t­her good rea­son to get back to this idea to hike from Van Mijen­fjord to Van Keu­len­fjord. 12 kilo­me­tres in some hid­den val­leys of Nathorst Land.

For me, a trip back into my own past, as we went through the­se val­leys ages ago on a ski trip. Back then, we mistrea­ted every one of the nume­rous small water­falls in the­se val­leys with ice clim­bing equip­ment, roping our­sel­ves and all our stuff up rather than wal­king around the water­falls on the even slo­pes. That would have been boring. So the who­le thing took 3 days for a few kilo­me­ters. Today, we hope to be a bit fas­ter.

And a trip back into the very distant past of Earth histo­ry. Moon­like land­s­cape of rocks from the midd­le ages of our pla­net. Weird impres­si­ons. Colours most ship-based tra­velers wouldn’t know from Spits­ber­gen. And then the­se beau­ti­ful water­falls car­ved into even older rocks. Now, in August, we wouldn’t get very far the­re with ice screws.

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

If I finish now, may­be some of you have read the way through it. So. End of sto­ry for the moment. Thank you for rea­ding this far.

Alk­hor­net, Rei­ni­usøya­ne

It is nice when Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties do some­thing use­ful, just for the chan­ge, such as char­ting the fjords here. Until recent­ly we thought that you can walk rather than sail in the inner­most part of Trygg­ham­na. Now it has sud­den­ly tur­ned into a lovely ancho­ra­ge for a calm night with a bril­li­ant gla­cier view, which could even get us out for a short mid­ni­ght walk at a time when most of us 12 here on board were actual­ly alrea­dy slee­ping.

Alk­hor­net is a clas­sic. Spits­ber­gen in a nutsha­le, you could sell it like this. May­be some­thing for tou­rists from the far east, who never have enough time. Direct flight to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, speed boat to Trygg­ham­na, 2 hours walk at Alk­hor­net. And you have seen it all. Real­ly! Well, almost. That’s why we keep going now for ano­t­her 16 days. I am sure we will find some­thing we haven’t seen this morning.
But the tun­dra at Alk­hor­net is a green mea­dow. The bird cliff, high up, brings fer­ti­li­zer and back­ground music. Down on the tun­dra, the rein­de­er are doing what they are good at: eating. Qui­te suc­cess­ful­ly so, as the dia­me­ter of the big ones makes unmistaka­b­ly clear. Spitsbergen’s nicest and stron­gest rein­de­er, and the cutest cal­ves, trea­ting their mothers’ bel­lies with a lot of gus­to to squee­ze every drop of the rich milk out that the cows have pro­du­ced from the tun­dra.

Ano­t­her Nøis hut at Alk­hor­net, built in 1920, now just a ruin. It was used during 5 win­ters by Ewald Schmutz­ler from Thu­rin­gia bet­ween 1923 and 1941. Old sto­ries.

Whe­re has the wind gone? But rather a calm after­noon with some engi­ne noi­se than thro­wing up under sails.

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

A late evening walk on some tiny islands in nort­hern Bellsund rounds the day nice­ly off. Wild coas­tal rocks, bea­ten by waves most of the time, rare­ly seen from clo­se distance, but nice and calm tonight.

Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Isfjord

Final pre­pa­ra­ti­ons. Packing again, try­ing not to for­get anything. From sun­creme (always being opti­mistic!) to the ever-gro­wing pile of tech­ni­cal gear to a good selec­tion of warm and wea­ther­pro­of clot­hing. Some last shop­ping, emai­ling and so on.

Arc­ti­ca II, a 60 feet yacht, is rea­dy to sail. A lot of space insi­de for a yacht, ever­ything will fall into place somehow. Even if not ever­y­bo­dy belie­ves it, initi­al­ly at least.

„Advan­ced Spits­ber­gen“ is star­ting. Here we go ☺ !

We take our time to stow ever­ything away, and Hein­rich, skip­per and boat owner, is taking care of some remai­ning small things. We get an updated ice chart and piz­za for tonight. The ice is still den­se around the north coast of Nord­aus­t­land. Unusu­al, com­pa­red to the last few years, but won­der­ful. „Inac­ces­si­ble“ sounds good, but it means that you can actual­ly not alway get ever­y­whe­re. That’s what it means. Some­ti­mes peop­le love to go to inac­ces­si­ble pla­ces and then they are sur­pri­sed that it is not always pos­si­ble. Sur­pri­se, sur­pri­se.

May­be the ice will loo­sen up a litt­le bit over the days to come. To give it some time to do so, we deci­de to start sou­thwards, get­ting to the far north a litt­le bit later. After din­ner, we are star­ting, sai­ling to Trygg­ham­na to anchor the­re for the night, may­be a litt­le hike tomor­row, befo­re we set cour­se for Bellsund.

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

On the icy road again ☺

Again polar bear caught in fishing net

In July, a polar bear was seen on the north coast of Spits­ber­gen with a plastic fishing net around its neck. The bear was found again later, it could then be anesthe­ti­zed and freed from the poten­ti­al­ly dead­ly debris.

Not much later, ano­t­her polar bear, again a fema­le, was found ent­an­gled in a fishing net. In this case, the bar had a small trans­mit­ter in its ear, pla­ced the­re by sci­en­tists to track migra­ti­on move­ments. The net was ent­an­gled around the trans­mit­ter.

The bear was found in Sorgfjord by vol­un­te­ers of the governor’s beach cleanup trip. Experts of the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te (NPI) were flown in by heli­co­p­ter to tran­qui­li­ze the bear, but just befo­re the NPI bio­lo­gist fired, the trans­mit­ter fell off tog­e­ther with the net and the polar bear was free of the its bur­den. The­re were no signs of inju­ry, and the bear seems to be fine.

Nor­we­gi­an fishe­ry is now facing cri­ti­cism for the amount of dan­ge­rous fishing nets and other debris found in the north Atlan­tic and shore­li­nes the­re. Fishing ves­sels are obli­ged to report loss of fishing gear at sea, and the fishe­ry aut­ho­ri­ty (Fis­ke­ri­di­rek­to­rat) has, sin­ce 1980, the respon­si­bi­li­ty to retrie­ve lost nets and other dan­ge­rous debris if pos­si­ble. Sin­ce 1980, more than 17,000 nets have been retrie­ved. The num­ber of fishing nets found on beaches in Spits­ber­gen and else­whe­re indi­ca­tes, howe­ver, that the num­bers of nets actu­al lost must be hig­her. Sin­ce 2008, dama­ged nets can be dischar­ged in Nor­we­gi­an ports free of char­ge.

This fema­le polar bear had got a trans­mit­ter in her ear by sci­en­tists, which got ent­an­gled in a hea­vy fishing net. © Chris­ti­an Nico­lai Bjør­ke.

polar bear with fishing net

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

SAR mis­si­on becau­se of pro­blems with satel­li­te com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on

Many pro­vi­ders of satel­li­te-based com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vices had tech­ni­cal pro­blems in late July for several days. This led, amongst others, to delays of my arc­tic blog on this web­site.

Other con­se­quen­ces were more serious. World­wi­de, ships were not able to down­load updated wea­ther infor­ma­ti­on. In Spits­ber­gen, a French sai­ling yacht was mis­sing for several days; the fami­lies of the crew had not recei­ved messages as agreed for 6 days. The Sys­sel­man­nen sent a pla­ne out to search for the yacht, which was found near Smee­ren­burg with ever­y­bo­dy on board in good con­di­ti­on.

The tech­ni­cal pro­blems were deep in the com­plex sys­tem, far out of reach of and unfo­re­see­ab­le for the indi­vi­du­al user. By now, the pro­blems seem to be sol­ved.

This com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on device is almost unde­st­ruc­ta­ble, but unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly not mobi­le. Pyra­mi­den, near the port.

communication

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen

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