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HomeArctic 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

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

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.



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