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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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