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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → More wal­rus­ses, more wind, more ice – 07/31 + 08/01/2015

More wal­rus­ses, more wind, more ice – 07/31 + 08/01/2015

(31st July – 01st August 2015) – The day star­ted nice and sun­ny, but soon it tur­ned out to be qui­te win­dy, which is not par­ti­cu­lar­ly hel­pful on the rather unpro­tec­ted shores of Storfjord. Against expec­ta­ti­on, we mana­ged a lan­ding on Edgeøya, enjoy­ed the lovely tun­dra, the wide land­s­cape, a group of wal­rus­ses sun­bat­hing near an old trap­per hut, not far from a wal­rus gra­vey­ard whe­re hund­reds of their grand­g­rand­par­ents were slaugh­te­red by wha­lers and hun­ters for their ivory, blub­ber and skin. Now, wal­rus­ses are again enjoy­ing their life near the old, bleaching bones. Natu­re is taking her space again, even if it takes time.

More wal­rus­ses, more wind, more ice – 07/31 + 08/01/2015

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Assuming that com­ple­ting a cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ti­on of Spits­ber­gen would only be a mat­ter of sai­ling down Storfjord and around the south cape, we set cour­se that way. But the ice field that was shown on the latest ice chart as a rather thin belt of open drift bet­ween sou­thern Edgeøya and the east coast of Spits­ber­gen tur­ned out to be solid, den­se pack ice, pushed tog­e­ther by the strong nort­her­ly wind. Now we have been try­ing for more than 12 hours to find a gap in that ice field, and if we don’t find it soon, then we have to turn around and head nor­thwards again, back through Heley­sund and Hin­lo­pen Strait … not a very plea­sant thought at all, but natu­re rules. A king­dom for an accu­ra­te, up-to-date ice chart and a good wea­ther fore­cast!

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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