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Sabine Land – 01 April 2016

Looking out into the gently falling snow, you might think that yesterday’s weather was a pleasant April fools joke. An immaculately blue sky without the slightest hint of a cloud. Hardly a breeze, and temperatures between -10 (Longyearbyen) and -20 (east coast). Spitsbergen does not get more beautiful than this in April, and Spitsbergen does not get more beautiful than in April (but different, on a potentially equal level of beauty).

So, it was clearly a day for a good trip. The canyons that are cut into palaeozoic limestones in Sassendalen proved a great playground for my new toy, as the first pictures may show, but as it turned out it it did not really like the temperatures.

Little excursions in the mighty moraine of Rabotbreen followed. Nature has created a magnificent bit of landscape here. Grand.

And much, much bigger still were the ice deserts further east, Nordmannsfonna and its neighbours. Impressions of infinity. All shades of blue and white you can think of any many more. Barents- and Edgeøya on the far horizon. See you in summer.

Storfjord on the east coast seems to be frozen solid, but a closer look reveals open water in the distance. This winter is another one in the long row of negative records in terms of sea- and fjord ice, and Spitsbergen does not make a difference, unfortunately. Looking around near the coast, the world still seems to be alright. But it isn’t.

Gallery Sabine Land

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Could one just get the polar bears to lighten up for a second, it might be a little fireworks! They are somewhere, that is for sure. The tracks are not too old.

In the end of the day, the polar bear’s tracks are leading east, out onto the ice, and ours west, to Longyearbyen. Everybody is going home after another great day in the arctic.

last modification: 2016-04-02 · copyright: Rolf Stange