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Daily Archives: 4. November 2017 − News & Stories


Vestfjord & Bodø – 04th November 2017

The wind had calmed down a bit, but it was still strong enough, coming from the south, so we decided to set sails and course to the west, rather than motoring against wind and waves southwards. So we waved goodbye to Lofoten when we left the pier in Svolvær after breakfast (better to be on the safe side!). The islands gave us a lovely farewell, with some sun, a rainbow above the famous „Lofoten wall“ (of mountains, rising straight up from the sea) and fair winds.

We spent the next couple of hours sailing in good style across Vestfjord, straight towards the mainland, before we reached the skerries at the Norwegian coast. A stunning coastline indeed! It is always great to see new land.

The last afternoon of such a voyage goes always quickly by. There is something to see as long as there is light. The sun is currently going down here close to 3 p.m. The final presentations, the triplogs needs to be finished, some preparations for departure tomorrow. The usual logistics. Still, different this time. It is the last time for this northern season.

A big circle closed when we went alongside in Bodø in the evening. We left from here on May 19 to sail via Lofoten and Bear Island up to Spitsbergen. It was the same place where we left, but it feels like a galaxy away. Back then, it was 24 hours of daylight. We had a long arctic summer ahead of us. Now, the sun is hardly making it above the horizon. And we have got a long arctic summer behind us. So many adventures with all the good crew of the Antigua and all the polar travellers who joined us on the various journeys.

Gallery – Vestfjord & Bodø – 04th November 2017

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

A big „thank you“ to everybody who was part of it for a great time, full of amazing adventures, impressions … you have never seen everything in the Arctic, you keep learning forever. The way there, to have seen and to know everything, is infinite. Yet, we got a good bit further. It is the purpose never really to get there, rather to spend as much time as possible on the way. It would be a shame to have seen it all, you have to have some dreams left … there will alway be plenty of it. The journey will never end.

Those thoughts aside – the spirits were high on this last evening. The last week had not given us any whale sightings or northern lights really worth mentioning, but other than that, actually quite a lot. Many impressions as they are typical for this landscape of coasts and islands in north Norway at this season. Good atmosphere on board. Good to have been part of it!

Russian helicopter wreck lifted

The wreck of the Russian helicopter that crashed into Isfjord close to Barentsburg previous Thursday was lifted last night. The special ship Maersk Forza was brought to Spitsbergen for this task and completed the work successfully on the night from Friday to Saturday. There were 8 persons on board the MI-8-helicopter when it crashed, including 5 crew members and 3 scientists. One body had already been found some days ago about 130 m away from the wreck. There is no trace so far from the other crew members, and the search for them will be continued.

The cockpit voice recorder could secured together with GPS units which are expected to have the actual flight track saved. They will be brought to Moskva for further investigations.

Meanwhile, questions are raised regarding the cause of the crash and the circumstances of the flight. The data recorders that were secured are likely to shed light on the actual crash. It seems that the flight was not legal according to applicable Norwegian legislation. The Norwegian flight permit issued to the operator covers only flights in direct combination to the operations of the mining company Trust Arktikugol, for example transport of company employees between Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. Commercial flights and transportation of tourists and scientists are explicitely excluded.

There were 3 scientists on board the helicopter when it crashed.

The wreck of the Russian helicopter, which crashed on October 26 close to Barentsburg into Isfjord, on board the ship Maersk Forza (photo © SHT).

helicopter wreck lifted.

Source: Svalbardposten

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