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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Walrusses, ice and currents – 30th July 2015

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.

last modification: 2016-09-22 · copyright: Rolf Stange