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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Kongsfjord – 21st September 2016

Kongsfjord – 21st September 2016

The day started in an interesting way. The strong wind made us seek shelter in the protected bay of Peirssonhamna, where a landing was easy. According to the weather forecast, the wind was to decrease and to turn into an even more favourable direction, giving us the full shelter of the bay. Sounded good to us. After a while on shore, finally with the golden September light we had been longing for, the opposite happened: the wind picked up and turned south, hitting our landing beach with full force. So we went back and did some nice Zodiac maneouvres South Georgia style: stern landing on a surf beach. Easy for anyone who has done that at Salisbury Plain in South Georgia’s Bay of Isles a couple of times, so I think we all enjoyed some wet fun on the beach

After a long stop near the calving glacier front of Kongsvegen, we went to the little islands of Lovénøyane. Sigridholmen was closest, and as I had not been on that one before, it was an obvious choice a visit to these little islands is a rare opportunity, as they are a bird sanctuary and visits are not allowed during the breeding season, which is most of the season. Only the late birds have a chance to get near them anyway.

So what to expect? 600 metres of guano, and that’s it? Not at all. Just as the neighbouring islands, which I knew from before, Sigridholmen is a pocket full of arctic beauty. Starting with the very scenic surroundings in mellow yet contrast-rich light, the coastline rich in little structures and details, the extremely rich mossy tundra to the glacier ice that filled some of the small bays on the southern end of the island. The sadness of a lonesome Barnacle goose that somehow stayed behind when its fellows went south, seeking to make friends with us. It is a sad though that it will still be there now, picking soft roots out of the mosses, longing for company but awaiting nothing but certain death. The arctic winter is not far.

Gallery Kongsfjord – 21st September 2016

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

Amazing how much time you can spend on an island of 600 m length. You could spend several days preparing for a landing on such a place, reading Alexander Koenig’s Avifauna Spitzbergensis (if anyone has got an extra copy of that, please let me know) and then really appreciate Sigridholmen and its little neighbours. That would be more than worth a trip alone.

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last modification: 2016-09-25 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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