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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Easternmost Spitsbergen – 09th August 2017

Easternmost Spitsbergen – 09th August 2017

We had several polar bear sightings on the way towards Heleysund, but all of them distant in the terrain. There is a little cliff coast south of Kapp Payer, Spitsbergen’s easternmost point, which was not helpful in this case.

The currents in Heleysund turned initially out to be so strong that we decided to make a little walk in Buchholzbukta. Spitsbergen’s easternmost land (I am obviously talking about the main island here). With a ruin of an old trapper hut, 4 walruses, high arctic scenery, a little river, the whole lot.

Later, we found 2 polar bears on Barentsøya under a bird cliff. Well-fed and good in shape. This area has now been ice-free for a while. It is amazing that these polar bears that hang out near bird cliffs and don’t seem to feed on anything but vegetation and chicks and eggs that are in reach are so often in really good shape.

Gallery – Easternmost Spitsbergen – 09th August 2017

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Ormholet turned out to be a peaceful place, considering the currents, as we made another approach to those passages in the later afternoon. So it was a silent scenic pleasure to sail through it. Just as this tiny little island near Barentsøya where we made an evening walk to round the day off. Completely untouched nature, where few people have ever set their foot on. Many arctic terns, but not too agressive as their breading season is largely finished, but they are always excited and make a lot of noise which suits the otherwise silent tundra well. Coarse stones here, thick carpets of tundra there. The latter have developed through millenia of fertilization by the birds. The sun is casting a beautiful light on Spitsbergen’s glaciers in the background, a panorama that we enjoy in the late evening back on board Arctica II.

last modification: 2017-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange