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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Mag­da­le­n­efjord – 5th August 2016

Mag­da­le­n­efjord – 5th August 2016

Around mid-day we had reached Mag­da­le­n­efjord. Going into Mag­da­le­n­efjord was not even part of the plan, but as we don’t real­ly have a plan, it didn’t real­ly mat­ter … we keep making decisi­ons as we go along the way, and as it was qui­te fog­gy fur­ther north, but clear in Mag­da­le­n­efjord, this decisi­on was an easy one.

During a first litt­le walk on a nice sand beach (no, not Grav­ne­set), we saw arc­tic turn chicks, may­be flap­ping their wings today for the first time, doing their first metres in flight … the first of many mil­li­on more to come, they will spend most of their life migra­ting back and forth bet­ween the Arc­tic and the Ant­arc­tic. So litt­le ani­mals, such an ama­zing life. Some wal­rus­ses were swim­ming around, with a gla­cier front pro­vi­ding a good back­ground.

Not far away, a polar bear was res­ting on the shore. We had a good, rea­son­ab­ly clo­se look at it. It just lifted its head, not giving a sh… about our pre­sence. Or any­bo­dy else’s pre­sence. The­re was about half a dozen of boats drif­ting or ancho­ring in that bay, crow­ding the place. Not that it bothe­red the bear much. But the place was over­crow­ded, well, it has been very crow­ded for more than a 100 years the­re, it is not­hing new. But not­hing we would want to be part of, so we left soon and hea­ded on.

Gal­le­ry Mag­da­le­n­efjord – 5th August 2016

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

We left Mag­da­le­n­efjord in good style: hiking. Hund­reds of thousands of tou­rists have been the­re over the deca­des, but few have done that, lea­ving not on a ship, but on foot. We made a nice gla­cier pas­sa­ge to the north. On the way to the gla­cier, we pas­sed a polar bear just a few hund­red metres from us. We could only see it when we had alrea­dy pas­sed it. It was lying fur­ther up on the slo­pe, watching us for a moment, then lay­ing its head down again, not taking any fur­ther noti­ce of us at all. Good. We went our way up on the gla­cier, up into the fog, the moun­tains occa­sio­nal­ly com­ing out bet­ween fog banks … a mys­te­ry atmo­s­phe­re, small meltwa­ter streams run­ning down the gla­cier, disap­pearing into the ice in lar­ge holes. The com­bi­na­ti­on of a gla­cier, a polar bear and fog made this tour qui­te unf­or­gett­able.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2016-08-06 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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