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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019

Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019

It is amazing how quickly things change here: just yesterday, Danskegattet was completely ice free, and now there are floes of loose drift ice, so we stay away from this partly shallow passage and keep to the outer side of Amsterdamøya.

Drift ice around the northwest corner of Spitsbergen. That is how it used to be – just that it used to be well into July in the old days and not just in the beginning of June, as it is now.

We pass one field of drift ice after the other, and some of the offlying islands: Fuglesongen, where we hear the crazy laughter of the thousands of little auks, and Klovningen. Later, we reach the entrance to Raudfjord. Dense drift ice everywhere, and the whole map is still frozen solid, at least according to the ice chart. After a little Zodiac excursion, we take off and move out, as we don’t want to spend a couple of weeks here.

Meanwhile, the drift ice around Amsterdamøya has become so dense that the passage back to open water takes more time than planned. This is great – nature is in control! We spend one more night, just drifting in an area of open drift ice, and then it takes about half a day to navigate through Smeerenburgfjord and Sørgattet.

Gallery – Drift ice – 05th and 06th June 2019

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From there, we follow the west coast to the south. Everything here is grey today. In the evening, we reach Prins Karls Forland, where we visit a group of pretty active walruses to round the day off.

last modification: 2019-06-15 · copyright: Rolf Stange