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Home → August, 2019

Monthly Archives: August 2019 − News & Stories


Nord­aus­t­land – 12th August 2019

The lagoon Cla­ra­vå­gen on the Hin­lo­pen-coast of Nord­aus­t­land is defi­ni­te­ly a spot whe­re you can anchor in peace and soli­tu­de: the approach unchar­ted, with shal­lows here and the­re, the ent­ran­ce nar­row, with strong tidal cur­r­ents. Per­fect for us on Arc­ti­ca II.

The area is high arc­tic, bar­ren and frost-bea­ten, with lar­ge ice wed­ges that look lik­ed car­ved into the ground by giants with huge axes. A fasci­na­ting land! The wea­ther fits the arc­tic atmo­s­phe­re: cold, with wind and snow.

Gal­le­ry – Nord­aus­t­land – 12th August 2019

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

Later, we had a look at the old rese­arch sta­ti­on at Kinn­vi­ka in Murchi­son­fjord (Panos here).

On our way south, we pas­sed Spar­ren­e­set, whe­re the shrimp traw­ler Nor­th­gui­der is still sit­ting on the rocks near the shore.

Woodfjord-Sorgfjord – 11th August 2019

Small islands look from the distance often as if the­re was not­hing to see. But when you have a chan­ce to get clo­se, then they often turn out to be litt­le jewels of arc­tic natu­re. The tun­dra is rich due to fer­ti­liz­a­ti­on by bree­ding birds over thousands of years. Eider ducks, arc­tic terns, grey phalar­o­pes and pur­p­le sand­pi­pers are living here. Waves and cur­r­ents are tur­ning sand and gra­vel into beau­ti­ful pie­ces of art.

Later, we pass the hut near Gråhu­ken, whe­re Chris­tia­ne Rit­ter win­te­red in 1934-35 (Rit­ter Hut). She wro­te the book „A woman in the polar night“ about this adven­ture, which beca­me qui­te famous.

We cross 80 degrees north under sail – twice, actual­ly – befo­re we reach Sorgfjord. The con­trast of the bar­ren polar-desert land­s­cape at Eolus­ne­set to the rich, colour­ful land­s­cape and tun­dra of Woodfjord could hard­ly be more pro­noun­ced.

Gal­le­ry – Woodfjord-Sorgfjord – 11th August 2019

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

Final­ly, we make good use of wind and some die­sel to get across Hin­lo­pen Strait, to Nord­aus­t­land.

Woodfjord – 10 August 2019

Mus­ham­na is a lovely natu­ral har­bour, which must have been made for sai­ling boats like the Arc­ti­ca II. We made good use of the shel­te­red ancho­ra­ge for a cou­p­le of calm hours during the night, and then we went for a good walk, of cour­se. Moss cam­pi­on, moun­tain sor­rel and snow but­ter­cup are still stan­ding in full flower here.

The stun­ning red colour of the Old Red sand­stone in inner Woodfjord did not show all of its beau­ty as it was qui­te over­cast and grey as we went for our second lan­ding fur­ther down in Woodfjord, but the colours are still ama­zing. The plastic on the beach was also ama­zing, in a way. We collec­ted some of it. At least.

Gal­le­ry – Woodfjord – 10 August 2019

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

Later, on the way to the north, we saw a polar bear near the shore! He – or, pro­bab­ly, she – wal­ked over the tun­dra, eating some vege­ta­ti­on here and the­re. Later he wal­ked near us on the beach for a few pre­cious moments, as we were at anchor again in Mus­ham­na.

Raudfjord – 09 August 2019

Raudfjord is one of Spitsbergen’s most beau­ti­ful fjords. Steep moun­tain cliffs and many gla­ciers on one side, less steep moun­tains and no gla­ciers at sea level on the other side.

We devo­ted the morning to the rug­ged west coast of Raudfjord and the after­noon to the more visi­tor-friend­ly east side, which lea­ves enough spaces to go for beau­ti­ful hikes. Again, a gre­at day in the Arc­tic!

Gal­le­ry – Raudfjord – 09 August 2019

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

Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen – 08 August 2019

After the calm nor­thwards pas­sa­ge to the north, inter­rup­ted by a late evening visit to a bird cliff on the west coast, we had a calm night at anchor in Mag­da­le­n­efjord (here a small Pano­Tour). This stun­nin­gly beau­ti­ful fjord is a top tou­rist desti­na­ti­on in Spits­ber­gen – remem­ber, crui­se ships star­ted to visit this area regu­lar­ly as ear­ly as in the late 19th cen­tu­ry – but today, we hap­pen­ed to be the only boat in the area. So we made good use of the oppor­tu­ni­ty, enjoy­ed a sun­ny walk at Grav­ne­set and a visit to the gla­cier, Wag­gon­way­breen.

As the­re was no wind and the sea com­ple­te­ly calm, later we went for a rare visit of Ham­burg­buk­ta. Cen­tu­ries ago, wha­lers from Ham­burg fol­lo­wed their tra­de here; some of them never left, the­re is still a cou­p­le of gra­ves here and the­re, cove­r­ed by colour­ful car­pets of lichens and mos­ses. A beau­ti­ful, silent and peace­ful place.

Gal­le­ry – Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen – 08 August 2019

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

Some hours and gla­ciers later, we have reached a well-shel­te­red ancho­red in a sce­nic small bay in nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen. Ano­t­her day gone – time is fly­ing here!

Kongsfjord-Krossfjord – 07 August 2019

After a lovely, calm and sun­ny night in the har­bour of Ny-Åle­sund, we don’t want to miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to visit the air­s­hip mast whe­re the famous air­s­hips Nor­ge and Ita­lia took of for their famous north pole flights in 1926 and 1928, respec­tively. It is easy to spend some time with tel­ling sto­ries during this short walk.

Gal­le­ry – Kongsfjord-Krossfjord – 07 August 2019

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

Later, we turn into Kongsfjord to enjoy the view of the lar­ge gla­ciers and the silence, which is fre­quent­ly inter­rup­ted by the thun­der of pie­ces of ice fal­ling down from the gla­cier front. Then we move to Krossfjord for a late after­noon walk in Ebeltoft­ham­na, whe­re Kurt Wege­ner ran an obser­va­to­ry in 1912-1914. They did some gre­at sci­en­ti­fic work and even impro­vi­sed a tech­ni­que to mea­su­re the height of the nort­hern lights!

Aava­t­s­mark­breen – Ny-Åle­sund – 06. August 2019

We keep moving north in For­landsund and go ashore to make a hike to a huge gla­cier cal­led Aava­t­s­mark­breen. Here we find our­sel­ves in a bar­ren ice-age land­s­cape with many polar bear tracks in the sand, pie­ces of gla­cier ice on the shore, meltwa­ter rivers that we need to walk through and final­ly the big gla­cier with its impres­si­ve cal­ving front. Tor­ren­ti­al meltwa­ter rivers are cas­ca­ding down over rocks next to the gla­cier. A very impres­si­ve, beau­ti­ful land­s­cape!

The onwards jour­ney through For­landsund is a bit bum­py – again, the wea­ther fore­cast is not real­ly impres­si­ve – until we turn into Kongsfjord a cou­p­le of hours later.

Gal­le­ry – Aava­t­s­mark­breen – Ny-Åle­sund – 06. August 2019

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

In the evening, as we make a walk trough Ny-Åle­sund, Spitsbergen’s nort­hern­most sett­le­ment, the sun comes out again and cas­ts beau­ti­ful evening light over the stun­ning moun­tain and gla­cier sce­ne­ry.

Trygg­ham­na-Poole­pyn­ten – 05 August 2019

The sun wakes us up after a calm night at anchor. We are sur­roun­ded by gla­ciers and high, rug­ged moun­tains. One of the moun­tains is less high and rug­ged than the other ones. Knuv­len, as it is cal­led, is actual­ly just 330 metres high. A pie­ce of cake, as one might think. Nevertheless, the rocky ter­rain makes the ascent qui­te hard. But the view is a gre­at reward!

Back on board, some of us jump into the sea to cool down after the hike. The sun is warm and high on the sky, and we enjoy lunch out­side on deck.

Later, we have reached a wal­rus colo­ny on Prins Karls For­land. Talk about right place and right time: some fog banks have shrou­ded the area with grey and mist. But the curtain goes up just as we drop the anchor. And to make things even bet­ter, the wal­rus are in gre­at shape. A wel­co­me comit­tee of three of the­se migh­ty seals comes curious­ly swim­ming very clo­se towards us as we are stan­ding silent­ly on the beach. It is an ama­zing expe­ri­ence to be so clo­se to the­se huge crea­tures! The­re is ano­t­her group hau­led out on the beach, not a lar­ge group, but qui­te acti­ve and beau­ti­ful­ly pla­ced in the evening sun, with a gla­cier in the back­ground.

Gal­le­ry – Trygg­ham­na-Poole­pyn­ten – 05 August 2019

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

Skip­per Peter has din­ner rea­dy as we get back on board. What a day, what a life!

Lon­gye­ar­by­en-Bohe­man­nes­et – 04 August 2019

And again: wel­co­me on board, we’ll hoist the sails again and set cour­se for Spits­ber­gen! This time, on the smal­ler, beau­ti­ful yacht Arc­ti­ca II, a real expe­di­ti­on boat, strong and stur­dy. As soon as we have got ever­ything done, we cast off and steer out into Isfjord. It is a won­der­ful start, with sunshi­ne, no wind.

Con­si­de­ring the gre­at con­di­ti­ons today, we make use of the oppor­tu­ni­ty to make a lan­ding as soon as we can. I am plea­sed to get back to Bohe­man­nes­et. A beau­ti­ful place, but it is very expo­sed, so some­ti­mes years go bet­ween visits. This time, we have been here just a good 3 weeks ago with Anti­gua. It is nice to start whe­re we finis­hed recent­ly. In con­trast to last time, it is real­ly nice and calm now, so the lan­ding ope­ra­ti­on is a pie­ce of cake and we can just enjoy the beau­ty of the place. It was not far from here, at Rijps­burg, that Søren Zacha­ri­as­sen began an ope­ra­ti­on that is now usual­ly con­si­de­red the begin­ning of com­mer­cial coal mining in Spits­ber­gen. But it was not suc­cess­ful.

Gal­le­ry – Lon­gye­ar­by­en-Bohe­man­nes­et – 04 August 2019

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

Any­way, for us today, Bohe­man­nes­et is „just“ a beau­ti­ful and silent place. A gre­at begin­ning of this new trip!

Later the same evening, we crui­se for ano­t­her 2 hours until we drop anchor in Trygg­ham­na for a calm night, to get some good rest.

Spits­ber­gen kit­chen slats avail­ab­le again

The Spits­ber­gen kit­chen slats are avail­ab­le again: a small num­ber of all kinds has found its way from the work­shop in Lon­gye­ar­by­en to the spitsbergen-svalbard.com ship­ping depart­ment near the Bal­tic Sea coast in Ger­ma­ny.

Spitsbergen kitchen slats

Spits­ber­gen kit­chen slats from Lon­gye­ar­by­en, in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

The slats are made from strong oak wood in Wolf­gang Zach’s car­pen­ters’ work­shop in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Their design is inspi­red by arc­tic wild­life: the­re is the polar bear (of cour­se!), the wal­rus, the Spits­ber­gen rein­de­er, the wha­le (whiche­ver kind of lar­ge bale­en wha­le you like ☺) and the bear­ded seal. The latest addi­ti­on is the polar fox, which is here avail­ab­le for the first time out­side Lon­gye­ar­by­en. And final­ly, on my per­so­nal request (I am a geo­gra­pher, after all) my favou­rite, the slat with the map of Spits­ber­gen.

Spitsbergen kitchen slats

Spits­ber­gen kit­chen slats from Lon­gye­ar­by­en: the who­le collec­tion.
A must-have! 🙂

Plea­se visit our online shop (click here) for fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on.

Our bre­ak­fast boards on a visit to Adven­ta­len 😉

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

Our bre­ak­fast boards on a visit to Lon­gye­ar­by­en 😉

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

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