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Home → September, 2015

Monthly Archives: September 2015 − News & Stories


Memo­ry card lost in Spits­ber­gen in 2009 now found

Pho­tos can sur­vi­ve for a long time in the ice. In 1930, film mate­ri­al from the Swe­dish Andrée expe­di­ti­on was found on Kvi­tøya, whe­re the three mem­bers had got marooned and died in 1897. A sen­sa­ti­on after 33 years.

A bit less sen­sa­tio­nal, but nevertheless remar­kab­le is the sto­ry of a digi­tal memo­ry card that was found in Spits­ber­gen in August this year. It con­tains more than 1200 pho­tos, taken with an Olym­pus came­ra. The files seem to be fine after 6 years in the arc­tic. The pho­tos were taken during a trip with the sai­ling boat Noor­der­licht in ear­ly July 2009.

But the sto­ry still needs a hap­py end, as the memo­ry card has not yet found its way back to the owner. He or she is pos­si­b­ly on the pho­to that is shown below. Who knows this woman? We would like to help to get the card back to the owner. Plea­se let us know in case you know anything of inte­rest (click here to get in touch).

Likely the owner of a memo­ry card that was lost in Spits­ber­gen in 2009 and found now in August.

Memory card owner Noorderlicht 2009

The Swe­de Andrée in late July 1897 in the ice. His expe­di­ti­on got lost, the remains inclu­ding pho­tos (Kod­ak film mate­ri­al) were found on Kvi­tøya only in 1930.

Andrée in ice, 1897

Itto­q­qor­toor­mi­it – 08th Sep­tem­ber 2015

Iceland’s first autumn storm has sent a bit of rus­hed air up to Scores­by­sund. As we are south of Jame­son Land, an eas­ter­ly wind is picking up, and the sails are going up – good stuff, and the­re may be one or the other on board who dis­co­vers his or her love for sai­ling. So we for­get about the idea of going to Kap Hope – not a bad exchan­ge, after all, for us.

Itto­q­qor­toor­mi­it, or Scores­by­sund vil­la­ge, wha­te­ver you want to call it, comes accord­in­gly a bit grey and win­dy. An arc­tic late sum­mer day. Memo­ries from my lon­ger stay the­re in 2006 come to mind again (my God, 10 years ago!), the bay fro­zen over, dog sleds going over the ice whe­re Ópal is drif­ting now, in the posi­ti­on whe­re I got the Green­land shark … old sto­ries, fond memo­ries. The vil­la­ge has lost some inha­bi­tants, both humans (a few) and dogs (qui­te a lot) sin­ce then.

Gal­le­ry Itto­q­qor­toor­mi­it – 08th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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

A nice fare­well to Green­land, with a din­ner at a pri­va­te home in good atmo­s­phe­re.

Bjør­ne Øer­ne & Char­cot Havn – 07th Sep­tem­ber 2015

Jyt­tes Havn in Bjør­ne Øer­ne (Bear Islands) is one of the most beau­ti­ful natu­ral har­bours in Scores­by­sund. Grundt­vigs­kir­ke and other moun­tains around eas­tern Øfjord, almost 2000 metres high, have per­fect mir­ror images on the calm water in the morning sun. The hike up the rocky hills is a bit deman­ding, but easy for strong hikers and the views are extre­me­ly rewar­ding.

Fur­ther south, Char­cot Havn is the only use­ful bay on the eas­tern side of Mil­ne Land. In con­trast to the very old crystal­li­ne bed­rock that makes up most of inner Scores­by­sund, the­re is some sedi­ment rock on the sou­thern side of the bay, a wes­tern out­lier of the Jame­son Land Basin, and some fos­sils would be inte­res­ting for a chan­ge. The slo­pe does not look too pro­mi­sing, the lower part cove­r­ed with morai­ne rem­nants, all crystal­li­ne base­ment rock, whe­re no Meso­zoic frut­ti di mare would have got lost. Fur­ther up, the­re are coar­se sand­stone blocks. And they have got it all: bival­ves, bra­chio­pods, coral frag­ments, belem­ni­tes, the who­le lot. Juras­sic wad­den sea, pre­ser­ved in the rocks for more than 150 mil­li­on years, brought to day­light by gla­ciers and frost action.

Gal­le­ry Bjør­ne Øer­ne & Char­cot Havn – 07th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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

Huge ice­bergs are drif­ting every here and the­re in the late evening light, while Ópal is sai­ling through Hall Bred­ning, the wide-open midd­le part of the Scores­by­sund. The water is flat calm, a beau­ti­ful evening.

Nort­hern light – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015

The late night brought ano­t­her high­light: a nort­hern light. The sky was glowing with green colours abo­ve the sou­thwes­tern moun­tains when a beau­ti­ful auro­ra star­ted to shi­ne, com­ing and going a cou­p­le of times. That was defi­ni­te­ly ano­t­her wish that all of us here on board had.

Pho­to Nort­hern light – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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Tun­dra land & Island fjord – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015

The coun­try in inner Scores­by­sund is most­ly steep and rather alpi­ne, and it is not easy to find a place for a lon­ger hike. No ques­ti­on that we had to go out once for a good walk to get lost in the arc­tic natu­re with body and soul. Today was the day, both the ter­rain and the wea­ther were per­fect for it.

Pho­to C. Hof­mann Hal­vo – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015 – 1/2

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The tun­dra is glowing in all autumn colours: the Arc­tic wil­low in green and yel­low, the Dwarf birch in red and brown and the Crow­ber­ry with a red so inten­se as if they had an light­bulb inbuilt. The hike is taking us from one hill crow­ned with a huge erra­tic boul­der to the next one, every sin­gle one invi­t­ing for shor­ter or lon­ger breaks to let the eye wan­der over the wide tun­dra and the colour­ful moun­tains. A first class arc­tic expe­ri­ence, fault­less polar plea­su­re. A sno­wy hare and some musko­xen are the icing on the cake.

Pho­to C. Hof­mann Hal­vo – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015 – 2/2

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The pas­sa­ge through Øfjord makes the round trip through the inner fjords of Scores­by­sund com­ple­te. 40 nau­ti­cal miles through this migh­ty sound, whe­re near-ver­ti­cal rock­walls drop a kilo­met­re below sea level and rise simi­lar­ly high abo­ve. A feast for tho­se inte­res­ted in geo­lo­gy and in aes­the­ti­cal struc­tures in rocks, and tho­se who want to be impres­sed by the dimen­si­ons of a huge land­s­cape, will find their hea­ven here any­way.

Pho­to Ofjord – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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Fjord of colours II – 05th Sep­tem­ber 2015

The dis­play of colours at Røde Ø was impres­si­ve, but even more impres­si­ve was the big­ger dis­play of the same colours in one of the can­yons fur­ther north. Nor­mal­ly, natu­re expe­ri­ence is not a mat­ter of get­ting the same thing big­ger, bet­ter or fas­ter, but in this case, refer­ring to the colours, this was the impres­si­on. We just went into one of the­se can­yons without knowing how far we would get. We got ama­zin­gly far. Hund­reds of metres of near ver­ti­cal rock­walls to all sides, screa­ming dark red, crow­ned by a deep blue sky. An explo­si­on of two colours, an ama­zing inten­si­ty.

Pho­to Rodefjord Can­yon – 05th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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Fur­ther north, musko­xen are gra­zing not far from the shore, then we reach a smal­ler out­let gla­cier that comes down from the inland ice. After a litt­le climb, we get nice views down onto a crev­as­sed gla­cier. On the way, an unex­pec­ted, hap­py mee­ting with a small musko­xen fami­ly. Sur­pri­se on both sides, came­ras here, some moments of thin­king the­re, then they move away. Ama­zing how fast the­se arc­tic, ice-age-style goa­ts can climb up the steep slo­pes.

Pho­to Harefjord – 05th Sep­tem­ber 2015

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A litt­le evening walk into the colours of the sun­set – again colours, that is just how Green­land is on a nice late sum­mer day. Ópal is alrea­dy ancho­red in a litt­le bay as we arri­ve.

Fjord of wind – fjord of colours – 04rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

Fønfjord has got its name for a rea­son, and it lived up to its repu­ta­ti­on. Of cour­se the kata­ba­tic wind blows down and away from the inland ice, strai­ght on the nose for us, that is. It is safe to bet the house on it. Pret­ty strong today, the wind.

But who says you can’t go ashore in Fønfjord?

Pho­to Fjord of wind – fjord of colours – 04rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

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The­re is a nice litt­le bay on the shore of Mil­ne Land, whe­re Ópal cele­bra­ted her lovely water cere­mo­ny. Mea­ning that we fil­led up our water sup­plies the­re. The cap­tain put the bow strai­ght on to the beach, and down into a litt­le clear stream with the pump. Small ship plea­su­res!

Pho­to Røde Ø – 04rd Sep­tem­ber 2015 – 1/2

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Rødefjord also has got its name for a rea­son. Deeply red sand­stone. Near Red Island, natu­re has crea­ted an ama­zing wall of basalt colum­ns like a pile of fire­wood. Ver­ti­cal rock faces, just like Marl­bo­ro Coun­try.

Pho­to Røde Ø – 04rd Sep­tem­ber 2015 – 2/2

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But the ice­bergs are of cour­se the best part. The famous ice­berg gra­vey­ard north of Røde Ø, ice­berg alley, ice­berg city, wha­te­ver you want to call it. An incredi­ble gathe­ring of huge ice­bergs, migh­ty giants, groun­ded and sur­roun­ded with water calm like a mir­ror, sca­ry dimen­si­ons and ama­zing num­bers. Deep green colours indi­ca­te mas­si­ve volu­mes of ice under water. After the zodiac tour, cap­tain Hörður asked me if I lik­ed it. What a ques­ti­on. If you don’t like that, then Green­land is not a place to go for you. The sheer beau­ty would make ever­yo­ne speach­less, I guess.

Basalt hea­ven in Vikin­ge­bug­ten – 03rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

The night has brought a fresh, white cover of snow to the ship and to the land. But it is thawing alrea­dy, get­ting grey and wet, and it will not last for long.

The crew has to fight some near­go­ing ice floes off with long poles during the night.

Pho­to Basalt hea­ven in Vikin­ge­bug­ten – 03rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

Basalt heaven

The who­le coun­try south of Scores­by­sund con­sists of basalt. The blood of the Earth, shed when a crack star­ted to split a huge con­ti­nent from south to north. The crack kept gro­wing and today we know it as the Atlan­tic oce­an. The Earth’s blood that was spil­led during ear­ly sta­ges of that pro­cess, that is the basalt. A huge basalt pla­teau that later bro­ke into two parts. The Færøer Islands are part of the eas­tern bit.

Pho­to Taen­der­ne – 03rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

Basalt heaven

East Green­land south of Scores­by­sund is the wes­tern bit. This is why we find so many of nature’s archi­tec­tu­ral mas­ter­pie­ces, the basalt colum­ns, in this area, in all shapes and sizes. The snow makes the struc­tures very appearent in many pla­ces.

Pho­to Hec­la Havn – 03rd Sep­tem­ber 2015

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It is clea­ring up in the after­noon. The rocky hills of Dan­mark Ø invi­te for some good hiking. Colour­ful rocks pro­vi­de insight in bil­li­ons of years of Earth histo­ry next to ama­zing views over a very fine bit of Green­land.

From Reykja­vik to Scores­by­sund

It could have been a lovely calm night of desper­ate­ly nee­ded good sleep if that film team had not picked the litt­le street just out­side my guest­house room to start filming at 5 a.m. I hope it will be a suc­cess­ful film, at least.

At 8 a.m., our small group of Green­land explo­rers met at the litt­le domestic air­port. Cros­sing the Den­mark Strait in 27000 feet alti­tu­de is much fas­ter and more com­for­ta­ble than riding the waves for days.

Pho­to Blos­se­vil­le Kyst – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2015

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The first part of Green­land that we saw was the Blos­se­vil­le Kyst around Rømer Ø, south of Scores­by­sund.

Pho­to Cons­ta­ble Point – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2015

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In Hur­ry Inlet, Ópal was wai­t­ing for us next to her sis­ter ves­sel Don­na Wood, a new mem­ber of the North Sai­ling fleet.

The first ice­bergs never fail to attract atten­ti­on, and so do the moun­tains south of Scores­by­sund. This wild coast is cal­led Vol­quart Boons Kyst, a very inhos­pi­ta­ble shore, with rug­ged moun­tains rising stee­ply more than 1000 metres high from the fjord, sepa­ra­ted by some crev­as­sed gla­ciers. A view as for­bidding as attrac­ti­ve.

Pho­to Hall Bred­ning – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2015

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We want to get to the inner bran­ches of the fjord, so we spend the after­noon sai­ling until we reach Vikin­ge­bug­ten. The anchor goes to the bot­tom and we go to bed.

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