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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Heleysund & Freemansund – 25th July 2016

Heleysund & Freemansund – 25th July 2016

Compared to the barren polar desert of Nordaustland, the lush-green tundra around Heleysund is a different world. The rock columns of basalt remind of wild west country. Inland, flower carpets with saxifrages and Svalbard poppy are stretching between the rocky hills, while strong tidal currents are rushing though the channels. We hike around Straumsland and then we cruise through Ormholet; at slack tide, it is just calm enough.

Some hours later, we reach Freemansund. A polar fox is stealing eggs and chicks from nests in a bird colony. The country around it turns out to be a polar bear hot spot: more than 14 bears are lying or walking around on slopes, most of them on one single mountain side. A true polar bear parade!

Gallery Heleysund & Freemansund – 25th July 2016

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

These Freemansund-polar bears are a phenomenon and a mysterium. Samples of their droppings may help to answer the question what makes this area so unusually attractive for them. My claim for fame in polar science.

last modification: 2016-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange