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Daily Archives: 28. September 2015 − News & Stories

The northwest shows off, part II – 28th September 2015

As mentioned, this was not all this day should bring. We were thinking about a little late afternoon landing, hoping to find a reasonably sheltered spot. We forgot about that quickly. The wind was one aspect. Admittedly, when I saw the wind blowing out of the bay and on to the shore of our envisaged landing site, I was already thinking how to get out of it again. But that was not even necessary. Suddenly a polar bear was seen walking on the slope not far from the place and that attracted of course everybodies attention. It walked along the coast, we indeed a lonesome walrus was lying, passing it within a few metres initially without paying attention (is it really possible that he was not aware of it to begin with?). Then he recognized it, made some steps towards it, probably hoping for a big meal, but the walrus demonstrated with a quick movement of its mighty tusks that this might be a bad idea.

Photo Flathuken 28th September 2015


The bear continued and it was kind enough to do so in an area where Joachim could maneouvre the Antigua reasonably close to the shore. It was certainly close enough for me, otherwise I would have had to remove the tele converter … the final highlight of the day was a stunning set of sunset colours above an amazing scenery. So now the day is over. The second day of the trip, and it could not have been better!

Photo Raudfjord 28th September 2015


Now we are curious about tomorrow. Even more wind is expected – we shall see.

The northwest shows off, part I – 28th September 2015

As mentioned before, we were curious what the day would bring. Essentially, we were prepared for a lot of wind. Which we got. And a lot more.

We had done the whole stretch from southern Forlandsund to the northwest during the night under sails, nicely with the squares, calm and no strong listing, very pleasant.

Photo Virgohamna 28th September 2015 – 1/2


Considering the strong southerly wind, Virgohamna was a natural choice. Starting with telling the relevant stories there in some details, otherwise all you see there is a pile of rubbish. With the stories of the expeditions of Andrée and Wellman on your mind, it is suddenly a Mekka of polar history. Also some harbour seals were present.

Opposite in Smeerenburg, a group of walrusses were hauled out on the beach, but the wind did not leave a chance for a landing. We had to make do with a reasonably close passage by ship, which turned out to be fine.

Photo Virgohamna 28th September 2015 – 2/2


Then, we continued into Fuglefjord. Grand panorama, mountains, glaciers. Spitsbergen has got its name for a reason, this became clear again here.

Svitjodbreen has retreated strongly in recent years. A rock that came out under the glacier some years ago is now an island. First mate Moritz was so kind to put me ashore for a moment to take a 360 degree panorama photo – maybe I am the first one to have set foot on the island? You should never say or even think that you are the first one to have done something in Spitsbergen. There has always been someone who was earlier out, it won’t be any different here. But the possibility as such is a nice thought.

Photo Fuglefjord 28th September 2015


But that was not the point. Taking the 360 degree panorama was the thing for me. To the delight of everybody on board, as they had me for scale on the island in front of the glacier. Meanwhile, Moritz was biding his time in the Zodiac by reading my Spitsbergen book! That is hard to see in the panorama, but I loved the idea. The result can soon be seen on this website. I am pretty sure it is the first 360 degree panorama taken there. Not a bad thing. Click here to see the result.

There was more to come today. More about that later.


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