spitzbergen-3
fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
Marker
Home

Yearly Archives: 2015 − News & Stories


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

_D8X7498

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

b3f_C-Hofmann-Halvo_06Sept15_059

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

b3f_C-Hofmann-Halvo_06Sept15_098

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

b3g_Ofjord_06Sept15_064

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

b2y_Rodefjord-Canyon_05Sept15_081

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

b3b_Harefjord_05Sept15_25

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

b2r_Fonfjord_04Sept15_06

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

b2t_Rode-O_04Sept15_24

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

b2u_Rode-O_04Sept15_35

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

b2p_Hecla-Havn_03Sept15_090

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

b2g_Blosseville-Kyst_02Sept15_10

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

Pho­to Cons­ta­ble Point – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2015

b2i_Constable-Point_02Sept15_14

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

b2k_Hall-Bredning_02Sept15_38

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.

Spits­ber­gen calen­dar 2016 avail­ab­le

The Spits­ber­gen calen­dar 2016 is avail­ab­le from now on in two sizes (A3 and A5). Twel­ve beau­ti­ful pho­tos bring Spitsbergen’s sce­ne­ry and wild­life throughout the arc­tic sea­sons onto your wall. Click here for fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on about the new Spits­ber­gen calen­dar 2016.

Der Spitz­ber­gen-Kalen­der 2016 ist ab sofort wie gewohnt in den For­ma­ten A3 und A5 erhält­lich. Zwölf schö­ne Fotos brin­gen Spitz­ber­gens Land­schaf­ten und Tie­re durch die Jah­res­zei­ten auf die Wand. Der Spitz­ber­gen-Kalen­der 2016 ist hier bestell­bar.

The new Spits­ber­gen calen­dar 2016.

Spitsbergen calendar 2016

Mild sum­mer in Spits­ber­gen

Accord­ing to wea­ther data of the Nor­we­gi­an Meteo­ro­lo­gi­cal Insti­tu­te, the cur­rent sum­mer mon­th August is the war­mest of its kind sin­ce the begin­ning of mea­su­re­ments in the 1970s at the air­port near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The nor­mal average tem­pe­ra­tu­re in August is 4.8°C. The cor­re­spon­ding value for 2015 will be bet­ween 6.6 and 6.8°C (the final value is not yet avail­ab­le).

Lon­gye­ar­by­en has not had sum­mer tem­pe­ra­tures on this average level at least sin­ce the 1970s. And inde­ed, parts of August were real sum­mer in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, with tem­pe­ra­tures up to around 16°C in cases. Peop­le were enjoy­ing the out­side tables of the cafés and restau­rants and their own homes.

Some­ti­mes, the warm tem­pe­ra­tures were more of a local cha­rac­ter: while it was more than 16°C in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, it was plea­s­ant­ly cool (4-5°C) at Kapp Lee on Edgeøya. Altog­e­ther, howe­ver, wea­ther data from other sta­ti­ons (Ny Åle­sund, Isfjord Radio, Bar­ents­burg) indi­ca­te a very mild sum­mer also else­whe­re in the regi­on.

Locals are more worried about war­mer win­ters than war­mer sum­mers. The win­ter cold is important for the fjord ice. Also shrin­king gla­ciers alrea­dy make for very obvious chan­ges in the land­s­cape.

Sum­mer wea­ther in Isfjord.

Summer in Isfjord

Source: NRK

Smol­de­ring fire at cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ge in Cole­s­buk­ta

Almost two weeks ago a team of the Sys­sel­man­nen star­ted extin­guis­hing a sub­ter­ra­ne­an fire in Cole­s­buk­ta cau­sed by a camp fire. The fire was igni­ted at the foun­da­ti­on of a his­to­ri­cal buil­ding which is pro­tec­ted as a lis­ted monu­ment. In Cole­s­buk­ta several buil­dings from the time bet­ween 1913 and 1962 are pre­ser­ved. They ser­ved as a har­bor whe­re coal from the near­by Rus­si­an mining sett­le­ment Grum­ant­by­en was loa­ded. Both sett­le­ments are cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ges.

On Tues­day 13th of August the Sys­sel­man­nen was infor­med by tou­rists about the fire in Cole­s­buk­ta and a team was sent by heli­co­p­ter. The ori­gi­nal camp fire was alrea­dy extin­guis­hed but it had initia­ted a smol­de­ring fire under the ground which was about to spread. First the Sysselmannen´s team pre­ven­ted the fire from sprea­ding by dig­ging a trench and the cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ge could be saved.

As now, almost two weeks later on Tues­day 25th of August the Sys­sel­man­nen and the fire depart­ment exami­ned the place again, they noti­ced that the fire was still smol­de­ring. The fire figh­ters tried to extin­guish it with foam and now they think about using a several meters long hose for pum­ping water from the coast to the fire area.

As it is pro­hi­bi­ted in Sval­bard to make a fire clo­se to cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ges, the Sys­sel­man­nen is inves­ti­ga­ting in this case. So far it is not known who made the camp fire. The Sys­sel­man­nen asks for infor­ma­ti­on, pre­fer­a­b­ly from the respon­si­ble per­sons them­sel­ves.

The old mining/harbour sett­le­ment Cole­s­buk­ta in win­ter.

Colesbukta

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

Nord­aus­t­land cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ted by sea kaya­kers

The main island of Spits­ber­gen has been cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ted by sea kaya­kers alrea­dy in 1990. But the second-lar­gest island, Nord­aus­t­land, has so far withs­tood all attempts. Not that the­re have been a lot, but the­re were a few, which never real­ly took off due to hea­vy ice con­di­ti­ons.

Next to dif­fi­cult ice and wea­ther con­di­ti­ons, it is the long ice cliff of the ice cap Aus­t­fon­na on the east and south coast of Nord­aus­t­land, which makes any attempt to kayak this coast a very deman­ding ven­ture. The cal­ving gla­cier front is about 160 kilo­me­tres long and does not afford any oppor­tu­ni­ty to land for a rest or to sit out bad wea­ther.

This sum­mer, two groups have been suc­cess­ful with their attempts to cir­cum­na­vi­ga­te Nord­aus­t­land. The Nor­we­gi­an group “Nord­aus­t­land” reached Kinn­vi­ka on August 14, whe­re they had star­ted their kaya­king expe­di­ti­on. A crui­se ship pro­vi­ded safe and com­for­ta­ble trans­por­ta­ti­on from Lon­gye­ar­by­en to Kinn­vi­ka and back, the goal of the expe­di­ti­on was kaya­king around Nord­aus­t­land and this has been achie­ved. Congra­tu­la­ti­ons!

But “Nord­aus­t­land 2015” were not the first group. Just about one day befo­re, a group of three kaya­kers, two from New Zea­land and one from Nor­way, had com­ple­ted their kayak-cir­cum­na­vi­ga­ti­on of Nord­aus­t­land suc­cess­ful­ly. Congra­tu­la­ti­ons also to this group! But they have not yet com­ple­ted their expe­di­ti­on, as it is their ambi­tious plan to cir­cum­na­vi­ga­te the who­le archi­pe­la­go, from Lon­gye­ar­by­en to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. But they have done the lar­gest step, Nord­aus­t­land, with impres­si­ve suc­cess.

Both groups met on the way, kept good con­ta­ct and sup­por­ted each other with infor­ma­ti­on. “Nord­aus­t­land 2015” wro­te in their blog “If we reck­on that Nord­aus­t­lan­det is 800 mil­li­on years old, 24 hours dif­fe­rence is insi­gni­fi­cant.” Only a quib­bler would chal­len­ge this 🙂

Both groups have made an ama­zing achie­ve­ment with years of pre­pa­ra­ti­on and trai­ning. The New Zea­land-Nor­we­gi­an group com­ple­ted the 160 kilo­me­ter ice cliff coast wit­hin 40 hours without any major rests. Cam­ping on Isi­søya­ne (ear­lier cal­led Isis­pyn­ten) was not pos­si­ble becau­se of the pre­sence of a num­ber of polar bears. Vibe­buk­ta was the next place whe­re put­ting up a tent was an opti­on. Drift ice and fog slo­wed the trip down. Fri­dt­jof Nan­sen, who in 1895 and 1896 made an incredi­ble kajak adven­ture north of and wit­hin Franz Josef Land tog­e­ther with Hja­l­mar Johan­sen during his Fram Expe­di­ti­on, would be impres­sed.

Gla­cier front on the south coast of Nord­aus­t­land behind den­se drift ice, July 2015.

Glacier front Nordaustland

Sources: Nord­aus­t­land 2015 (Face­book), Ice bears and Islands

Sys­sel­man­nen remo­ves gar­ba­ge from Svalbard´s beaches

This year an amount of 101 cubic meters of gar­ba­ge was collec­ted on the Sysselmannen´s annu­al cleanup crui­se to remo­te beaches in Sval­bard. The Sysselmannen´s ship ‘Polar­sys­sel’ was ope­ra­ting for eight days, approa­ching three pla­ces at the west- and the north coast of the main island Spits­ber­gen and two pla­ces in the nor­thwest of the island Nord­aus­t­lan­det. 24 vol­un­te­ers sup­por­ted the Sysselmannen´s crew in clea­ning the sin­gle coast­li­nes from gar­ba­ge that was was­hed ashore.

It is most of all plastic gar­ba­ge of dif­fe­rent kind and size from all over the world which floats on the ocean´s sur­face, some­ti­mes for years, and final­ly finds its way to the coast. And the big­ger part deri­ves from the fishing indus­try: fish­nets, fish­net floats, ropes and so on. For ani­mals the gar­ba­ge can turn into a let­hal trap, in the water as well as ashore. Sea­b­irds for examp­le swal­low small pie­ces of plastic which they are not able to digest. They final­ly die by the accu­mu­la­ti­on of plastic pie­ces in their sto­machs. Birds and other ani­mals get ent­an­gled in ropes and fish­nets. On this year´s cam­pai­gn the Sysselmannen´s crew found a rein­de­er ske­le­ton com­ple­te­ly wrap­ped in a fish­net and in 2014 a polar bear was trai­ling a huge fish­net with its ear. The net got stuck at an ear­mark pla­ced by sci­en­tists (see also Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news Again polar bear caught in fishing net from August 2014).

With 101 cubic meters the­re was more gar­ba­ge collec­ted than last year (88 cubic meters). Yet, the Sysselmannen´s cleanup crui­se was not as suc­cess­ful as expec­ted. In the begin­ning the work was two times dis­tur­bed by polar bears showing up and later bad wea­ther pre­ven­ted the approach to high­ly pol­lu­t­ed beaches. Spe­cial thanks go to the local popu­la­ti­on with its wil­ling­ness to sup­port the cam­pai­gn. More than 200 locals vol­un­te­e­red for the cleanup and final­ly 24 were cho­sen to accom­pa­ny the Sysselmannen´s crew.

Gene­ral­ly, the Sys­sel­man­nen can only cover a very small part of Svalbard´s coasts with this annu­al cam­pai­gn, as for examp­le this year the­re were only five beaches clea­ned. The­re­fo­re smal­ler pri­va­te expe­di­ti­on crui­se ships are a signi­fi­cant help in this case, as most of them con­stant­ly arran­ge simi­lar cleanups with their pas­sen­gers (see also Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news The Oce­an Cleanup: solu­ti­on for the glo­bal plastic pol­lu­ti­on pro­blem from June 2014).

Fish­net was­hed ashore
© Chris­ti­an Nico­lai Bjør­ke

Bear-Fishernet

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen, Sval­bard­pos­ten

Four polar bears, one wal­rus – 11th August 2015

New trip, new luck. Old polar friends with their friends and rela­ti­ves, a very fami­li­ar set­ting right from the begin­ning. Very plea­sant.

A litt­le bit of swell in the Isfjord ent­ran­ce. Christ­mas-tree Wil­li finds out that the sea is some­thing dif­fe­rent than a forest. The shaking of a boat is less plea­sant than the shaking of the trees.

Mir­ror images on the water in For­landsund. Moun­tains and gla­ciers seem to rise both upwards into the sky and down­wards on the water.

Pho­to Kongsfjord – 11th August 2015 – 1/2

b1p_Kongsfjord_11Aug15_234

Ny Åle­sund is a good start, a gent­le tran­si­ti­on from zivi­li­sa­ti­on to the arc­tic wil­der­ness. And mee­ting Mar­ten Loo­nen, the head of the Dut­ch arc­tic sta­ti­on, is always a very plea­sant affair, whe­re you will always learn a lot. Geese and foxes chan­ge in having good and bad years, rough­ly simi­lar­ly to lem­mings. The cycles don’t have three years, but seven or eight. The grass, the rein­de­er, rain or snow, it is all part of the sys­tem. It is com­plex.

Pho­to Kongsfjord – 11th August 2015 – 2/2

b1p_Kongsfjord_11Aug15_393

A dead wal­rus on the shore as attrac­ted two polar bear fami­lies. Two mothers, each with one cub of the year. One fami­ly is stay­ing a bit away while the other one is fee­ding. The mother is paying full atten­ti­on to the wal­rus car­cass, while the cub is busy with a pie­ce of drift­wood. The small boat with the visi­tors off the beach is, howe­ver, com­ple­te­ly irrele­vant to them. A reach meal, a feast for bears and tou­rists. A wild bit of arc­tic natu­re. A gre­at expe­ri­ence. Unless you are the wal­rus.

Erd­mann­flya – 05th August 2015

A calm night, a calm pas­sa­ge nor­thwards to Isfjord, inter­rup­ted only by a short stop when cod appeared on the depth soun­der – din­ner was secu­red. Time to show some pho­tos, for the very first time, from our Bee­ren­berg ascent on Jan May­en in July.
Then we reach Borebuk­ta, one of tho­se bays in the rather civi­li­sed Isfjord area whe­re the­re is not too much traf­fic. Once again, we ven­ture into the arc­tic wil­der­ness, without see­ing anyo­ne. Once again into the silent tun­dra, flat coas­tal plains, which seem boring from the distance but are actual­ly full of details. An old, small sealing ship on the shore loo­ks as if it was left behind by its crew with the inten­ti­on to con­ti­nue the voya­ge soon, but they never retur­ned. What hap­pen­ed? No idea. (Amend­ment: the boat was left the­re by a well-known inha­bi­tant of Lon­gye­ar­by­en usual­ly known as „Hamarøy­en“ – he came from the island Hamarøy – to ser­ve as accom­mo­da­ti­on. The near­by lake has always been popu­lar for fishing amongst the locals).

Beaches, inter­rup­ted by small capes and cliff coasts, incis­ed rivers. Rock land­s­capes with fox dens, and very appro­pria­te­ly, two young polar foxes, one of them rea­son­ab­ly curious. A litt­le herd of six rein­de­er making a curious semi-cir­cle around us. A nice fare­well from Spitsbergen’s tun­dra.

The surf had picked up and did not lea­ve all boots dry. Good we had been able to avoid that during the trips so far.

Gal­le­ry Erd­mann­flya – 05th August 2015

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

A last, calm night at anchor in Cole­s­buk­ta, then some final miles to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Then the voya­ge is over. My very own par­ty is based on fresh arc­tic char from the north coast, a pre­sent from Pål. It is enough for me for two days.

Back

News-Listing live generated at 2021/October/17 at 12:19:22 Uhr (GMT+1)
css.php