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Home* News and Stories → Looking back at 2015 – June

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.

last modification: 2016-01-04 · copyright: Rolf Stange