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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → For­lands­und – 26th June 2019

For­lands­und – 26th June 2019

The last two weeks in Lon­gye­ar­by­en went by very quick­ly … and now we are alre­a­dy off again, with 2 ½ weeks of sai­ling in Spits­ber­gen with SV Anti­gua ahead of us.

The north coast is still in den­se ice, so we will pro­ba­b­ly spend some time in the south and sou­the­ast. But to start with, we go at least a litt­le bit nor­thwards. Recent sightin­gs have con­firm­ed good chan­ces to see wal­ru­ses in For­lands­und, and the wea­ther fore­cast seems per­fect: a calm day for excur­si­ons and then a fair nor­t­her­ly bree­ze to fill the sails on the way south.

So here we go. On the first mor­ning of the trip, we wake up at anchor near a litt­le pen­in­su­la in For­lands­und. The­re is a group of wal­rus hau­led out on shore, may­be 40-50 ani­mals. And … two polar bears! A mother and her second year cub are making their way towards the wal­ru­ses.

It was to be a stun­ning mor­ning. With the Zodiacs we mana­ged to get into a good posi­ti­on to be a fly on the wall. The bears tried to make the wal­rus panic, but wit­hout much suc­cess. Final­ly they moved away again a bit, wal­ked up and down the beach and final­ly laid down for a rest. A beau­tiful series of events and beha­viours, which we are bles­sed to have wit­nessed!

Gal­lery – For­lands­und – 26th June 2019

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

Later we go for a litt­le tun­dra walk at Mur­ray­pyn­ten on Prins Karls For­land to earth our­selvs again (quite lite­ral­ly, the tun­dra is still quite wet and a bit bog­gy …)

Once all are back on board, we prepa­re the sails. The engi­ne can take a break, the wind is doing the work for us now. Let’s go south!

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the title “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2019-06-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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