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Daily Archives: 30. July 2015 − News & Stories


Wal­rus­ses, ice and curr­ents – 30th July 2015

An incre­di­ble day. It star­ted quite ear­ly in den­se fog and with a group of wal­rus­ses, who were in good shape and pret­ty acti­ve. It con­tin­ued in fog and with more and more ice. The ice stay­ed, the fog went, and so we con­tin­ued through an extre­me­ly plea­sant after­noon, crui­sing under a bright sun through the most beau­tiful ice, wat­ching seals and birds. Pure high arc­tic.

Then the­re was the ques­ti­on if it would be pos­si­ble to pass through Heley­sund. Wat­ching the fields of drift ice, which were get­ting lar­ger and lar­ger and den­ser and den­ser, one would hard­ly have pla­ced a bet on a suc­cessful pas­sa­ge. But wait and see. The cur­rent increased, and final­ly we had rea­ched a point whe­re a return would have been dif­fi­cult and then even impos­si­ble. Unfort­u­na­te­ly I can’t send a video at this time (later!), and it is hard to descri­be this pas­sa­ge. A rol­ler­co­as­ter ride in strong curr­ents, tog­e­ther with a lar­ge field of drift ice. The indi­vi­du­al ice floes were all drif­ting here and the­re and ever­y­whe­re, pure cha­os. Skip­per Pål maneou­vred fran­ti­cal­ly, try­ing not to bump too much into ice, but that was hard to avo­id. Lucki­ly, the Arc­ti­ca II is built to take some bea­ting in the ice. Any other sai­ling boat with a hull made from any other mate­ri­al than good, strong steel would have been crus­hed to pie­ces. The views of the near­by ice­f­loes see­med to indi­ca­te a tur­bu­lent, but sta­tio­na­ry posi­ti­on, a look towards the rocky shores made clear that we were actual­ly drif­ting with some ama­zing speed, far bey­ond the capa­bi­li­ty of the engi­ne alo­ne.

Gal­lery Wal­rus­ses, ice and curr­ents – 30th July 2015

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

Now we are through, a very impres­si­ve expe­ri­ence richer, and loo­king for­ward to a calm ancho­ra­ge, a litt­le late evening walk on Barent­søya, and defi­ni­te­ly some hours og good sleep.

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