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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Bear Island (II) – 26th May, 2017

Bear Island (II) – 26th May, 2017

After yet another, longish Zodiac cruise into the troll scenery kingdom at the southern tip of Bear Island, it is nice to get a calm night’s sleep at anchor in Sørhamna. Falling asleep with the sight of the cliffs and the sound of the seabirds. And waking up again with exactly the same impressions.

Especially as the weather is still nice. Another landing, this time in Kvalrossbukta, turns out to be easy, just a little bit of swell and surf on the beach. There was a whaling station from the period of industrial whaling here more than a hundred years ago, one out of two from those days in Spitsbergen. And it was here that the German journalist Theodor Lerner started to take parts of Bear Island into possession in 1899. Further occupations followed, as well as bizarre meetings with his German (!) competitors who were there in order of emperor Wilhelm II, and a Russian battleship (if you read German, then you can find all these stories in my book „Die Bäreninsel“).

Also a German weather station from the war and an attempt to mine lead ore have left some scarce traces in the vicinity. Nevertheless, all in all the landscape appears to be untouched. Human influence is mostly coming from far away. Environmental toxins, the fishing industry and climate change all have their influence on Bear Island, but traces of local human activity are very limited and nature is claiming her territory back.

Gallery – Bear Island (II) – 26th May, 2017

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

Finally it is time to say goodbye to Bear Island, we are expecting northerly winds in the afternoon and no further landings. A luxury to sit on deck and enjoy the view of cliffs and sea stacks passing by. Finally we are drifting not far from the weather station Bjørnøya Meteo and I say hello over the radio. Turns out that we are invited to visit! To my own surprise, they know my name here, thanks to my Bear Island book and even my hike around the island is not yet forgotten, although it is a couple of years ago by now. Of course we take the opportunity to visit the Norwegians on their weather station. A fine finish to a fine visit to Bear Island. I am looking forward to the next time!

last modification: 2017-05-31 · copyright: Rolf Stange