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Home → August, 2018

Monthly Archives: August 2018 − News & Stories


Mus­ham­na – saving the seal – 06 August 2018

The anchor was on the bot­tom in Mus­ham­na, we were about to finish a cosy evening and call it a day as a small seal was seen near the beach ent­an­gled in a pie­ce of fishing net, figh­t­ing for its life. All this plastic in the sea and on the shore or else­whe­re in the envi­ron­ment is so dis­gus­ting! What is so dif­fi­cult about put­ting old fishing gear or wha­te­ver it is in a con­tai­ner in the har­bour or whe­re­ver? Why do end­less quan­ti­ties of it con­stant­ly end up in the sea, causing immense dama­ge to the envi­ron­ment and slow and pain­ful deaths to count­less ani­mals?

Mus­ham­na

Mushamna

In this case, at least, we could help. It was a small seal, pro­bab­ly a young Rin­ged seal, which I could easi­ly grab in the shal­low water and lift up on the beach, so Pål could cut the net with a sharp kni­fe. The net had alrea­dy star­ted to cut into the skin around the neck, so the poor beast must have been clo­se to suf­fo­ca­ting and it was real­ly high time! Of cour­se it was under shock and it nee­ded some moments until it star­ted to calm down again and to breath free­ly, but then it swam away, making a very healt­hy and lively impres­si­on on us, so we are sure it is in good shape again! Pro­bab­ly it was just our ima­gi­na­ti­on, but when it actual­ly dived through under our boat, we had the impres­si­on it did so to say thank you and good­bye. A won­der­ful moment that made us real­ly hap­py! I don’t want to think of all the ani­mals which suf­fer a simi­lar fate without anyo­ne around who could help, but some­ti­mes you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and able to do th! e right thing. Plea­se, ever­y­bo­dy, be respon­si­ble with plastic!

Mus­ham­na

Mushamna

Texas Bar – 06 August 2018

It is sup­po­sed to be qui­te win­dy today out the­re off the coast, so we are hap­py to be safe­ly at anchor in this lovely and well-shel­te­red bay in Lief­defjord. The clouds are han­ging low and the­re is litt­le to see of the beau­ti­ful land­s­cape, so we take the morning more or less off and have some time to talk about polar bears in some detail.

Horn­baek­pol­len

Hornbaekpollen

It is clea­ring up a litt­le bit in the after­noon, and soon we are out and about again. The clouds have lifted just enough to give us some greyish but fine views of Erik­breen, Horn­bæk­pol­len and Lief­defjord. During the hig­hest bits of our walk, we are diving into the clouds. Very atmo­s­phe­ric, but it is qui­te good to know the area pret­ty well now.

Horn­baek­pol­len

Hornbaekpollen

After a visit to Hil­mar Nøis’ old hut Texas Bar, we steam on to Mus­ham­na. Tomor­row is also sup­po­sed to be win­dy at sea, so that should be a good place to anchor.

From Sal­ly­ham­na to Lief­defjord – 05 August 2018

It took a bit lon­ger than expec­ted to lea­ve in the morning becau­se the day began just as yes­ter­day finis­hed: with a fami­ly of polar bears. Pos­si­b­ly the same ones that we saw last night, but 2 fami­lies are sup­po­sed in the area, so we don’t know for sure, they may be dif­fe­rent ones. Today’s polar bears were inte­res­ted in a depot of gar­ba­ge and fuel which sup­po­sed­ly belongs to the Sys­sel­man­nen. They went their way after a while.

Sal­ly­ham­na

Sallyhamna

We did the same and con­ti­nued towards Raudfjord, which tur­ned out to be so fog­gy that we left again soon and set cour­se to the east. The visi­bi­li­ty clea­red up as we ent­e­red Woodfjor­den, so we went to one of the small islands for a lovely tun­dra walk. Natu­re has so much to offer, often on a small sca­le. If you just want big ani­mals and spec­ta­cu­lar, big sce­ne­ry, then you may not find much here, but if you have a sen­se for all the small things, the struc­tures, the colours, the lichens and the rocks, the birds and the tun­dra, then you can spend a lot of time here.

Andoya­ne

Andoyane

Andoya­ne

Andoyane

Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen – 04 August 2018

The nor­thwest of Spits­ber­gen does not exact­ly encou­ra­ge hiking with its rocky and steep ter­rain and the gla­cier-cove­r­ed inland. But the­re are some oppor­tu­nities, and we grab­bed one to ven­ture into this world of ice and steep rocks.

Hiking

Hiking

Later on Dans­køya, we were gree­ted by har­bour seals. Back to a world full of life after the rug­ged high-alpi­ne land­s­cape ear­lier today!

Virgo­ham­na

Virgohamna

This altog­e­ther had made the day alrea­dy more than com­ple­te, but Pål’s sharp eyes dis­co­ved a polar bear fami­ly on a steep, rock shore and they gave us about half an hour of unf­or­gett­able obser­va­tions! Lovely to see the 3 ani­mals, all of them healt­hy and in good shape!

Fug­loya

Fugloya

Fug­loya

Fugloya

From Krossfjor­den up to Mag­da­le­n­efjord – 03 August 2018

Now it was time for a good hike, so we took off for a cou­p­le of hours in Krossfjor­den, having at look at the remains of a Ger­man wea­ther sta­ti­on from the dark years of the Second World War and then hiking up to some hills and rid­ges which pro­vi­ded some gre­at views over the wide coas­tal plain that stret­ches from here to the west coast, cal­led Die­sets­let­ta.

Signe­ham­na

Signehamna

And who would have thought that we were able to explo­re this coas­tal plain from the other side just a few hours later? The coast of Die­sets­let­ta is very expo­sed and it is defi­ni­te­ly not on the list of com­mon­ly used lan­ding sites, but today it was so calm that we just had to use the oppor­tu­ni­ty! A beau­ti­ful rocky coast with some small, hid­den beaches, a wide-open tun­dra land with lakes and rivers and moun­tains with inte­res­ting colours and struc­tures fur­ther inland.

Die­sets­let­ta

Diesetsletta

After a cou­p­le of calm hours the anchor went to the bot­tom in beau­ti­ful sur­roun­dings in Mag­da­le­n­efjord, whe­re Pål took care of today’s catch of fish.

Grav­ne­set

Gravneset

Kongsfjord – 02 August 2018

We fill the die­sel tanks up once again in Ny-Åle­sund to be rea­dy for
wha­te­ver may come and of cour­se we take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a walk
around. Addi­tio­nal­ly, I need to buy some socks, and this is whe­re you
get the best ones in the world!

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Later, we wan­ted to visit a bird cliff, but that was alrea­dy occup­pied.
Not too bad eit­her. We can’t com­p­lain about the polar bear den­si­ty,
the­se are num­bers 2 and 3 for us, and it’s just the 3rd day in the trip!

Ossi­an-Sarsfjel­let

Ossian-Sarsfjellet

The wind had star­ted to blow up here in Kongsfjor­den, so we moved up to
Krossfjor­den for a calm night at anchor. Not without visi­t­ing the migh­ty
Lil­lie­höök­breen on the way!

Lil­lie­hook­breen

Lilliehookbreen

Kongsfjord – 01 August 2018

Still the same day. Sud­den­ly it clea­red com­ple­te­ly up, blue sky, bright sun, calm seas! What a pan­ora­ma, what a view! As if it had not been enough like this, we were wel­co­med in Kongsfjor­den by a lar­ge pod of Belugas. It must have been far more than 100, they were just ever­y­whe­re!

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

We still had time to make a litt­le detour to a coas­tal cave on Blom­strand. The con­di­ti­ons could not have been bet­ter, so we just made use of the oppor­tu­ni­ty. It was the first time that I mana­ged to take a pho­to of that cave that I was hap­py with. Good stuff! Thanks to a litt­le rock ledge in the cave that I could step on, my 11-24 mm wide-ang­le len­se and a flash­light. Yeah!

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Kongsfjord

Not much later we went along­side in Ny-Åle­sund. What a gol­den evening! Bright sunshi­ne, no wind whatsoever. Of cour­se we wal­ked around, took pho­tos or just enjoy­ed. A good­ni­ght-beer in the mid­ni­ght sun roun­ded a gre­at day off, much to our delight.

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

Ny-Åle­sund

Ny-Ålesund

For­landsund – 01 August 2018

In For­landsund, we made a first lan­ding to get some first impres­si­ons of the arc­tic natu­re clo­se-up. A litt­le walk on Prins Karls For­land to get some tun­dra under our rub­ber boots. A bit grey, but still a lot to see. Later, we found some wal­rus on a nar­row spit of land fur­ther north in For­landsund.

Sel­vaa­gen

Selvaagen

Sel­vaa­gen

Selvaagen

Sel­vaa­gen

Selvaagen

Sel­vaa­gen

Selvaagen

Sar­stan­gen

Sarstangen

Sar­stan­gen

Sarstangen

Sar­stan­gen

Sarstangen
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