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Daily Archives: 4. January 2016 − News & Stories


Loo­king back at 2015 – June

Just in time as May gave way to June we arri­ved with SV Antiu­ga in sou­thern Spits­ber­gen, com­ing from Bear Island. A defi­ni­te high­light amongst this year’s events is the encoun­ter with a polar bear fami­ly in Van Keu­len­fjord. Who could ever for­get that? Anti­gua was moo­red along the fast ice edge, in peace and silence, until in the very ear­ly morning hours the offi­cer on watch came down to wake ever­y­bo­dy up. The polar bear fami­ly that had been seen alrea­dy the day befo­re, kilo­me­tres away out on the ice, had come to the ship out of curio­si­ty. The mother was a bit more care­ful and stay­ed more in the back­ground, but did not mind her two cubs, both loo­king well and healt­hy, com­ing strai­ght up to the ship and inves­ti­ga­ting us from all sides. An ama­zing way to start a day!

A nui­sance for tho­se con­cer­ned, but later an event not without some enter­tai­ning value: Lon­gye­ar­by­en air­port was run­ning out of fuel. A nice litt­le remin­der that the arc­tic is still a remo­te place, and even the­se days it may hap­pen that sup­plies are not always avail­ab­le when they are nee­ded. Some flights direct­ly bound for Oslo had to make a sto­po­ver in Trom­sø for refu­el­ling.

Mean­while, many were won­de­ring if polar bears now have dis­co­ve­r­ed dol­phins as their favou­rite prey, as seen and pho­to­gra­phed the year befo­re, and now pho­tos and dis­cus­sions were com­ing up. Weird. Obvious­ly nobo­dy has spent much thought on how polar bears should get hold of dol­phins on a regu­lar basis. When natu­re hap­pens to ser­ve dol­phins on a sil­ver tablet, for examp­le by them get­ting stuck in ice in a fjord, then a polar bear wouldn’t be a polar bear if he said no to the oppor­tu­ni­ty. But that is real­ly no news.

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

Later in June, I could add ano­t­her expe­ri­ence to the alrea­dy long list of this year’s memo­r­able and plea­sant events: the view from the top of Bee­ren­berg, Jan Mayen’s famous vol­ca­no. A dream of several years, taking years of pre­pa­ra­ti­ons, beca­me a rea­li­ty in my second attempt, made pos­si­ble by a friend­ly wea­ther god and rea­li­zed with con­si­derable effort. It was worth every hard breath, and the­re were qui­te a few.

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