fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
pfeil THE Spitsbergen guidebook pfeil

Yearly Archives: 2019 − News & Stories

Tjuv­fjord – 17th August 2019

Here in Tjuv­fjord we can enjoy the rare fee­ling to explo­re new waters and lands. Not too many peo­p­le have been here befo­re, and cer­tain­ly not too many tou­rists. This was a clas­si­cal hun­ting area during the years of the trap­pers.

We find a reason­ab­ly well shel­te­red landing site and hike over a wide-open, bar­ren coas­tal plain to the flat-top­ped mou­ta­ins that are stret­ching all the way along this coast. Vom one of the tops we have a gre­at pan­o­r­amic views over the who­le Storfjor­den. An ama­zing sce­n­ery, and seen only by few peo­p­le. The­re are ple­nty of reinde­er- and polar bear tracks on the low­land as well as on the moun­tain slo­pes, but no human foot­prints other than our own ones.

The lar­ge lagoon of Tjuv­fjord­lagu­na is our next desti­na­ti­on, but the­re, the coast is hid­den by a den­se belt of drift ice. Not a bad thing – we keep the drift ice next to us for a cou­ple of miles, until we are near Zieg­lerøya. See­ing this island in ice, with the moun­ta­ins of Edgeøya in the back­ground, is ama­zing. This area used to be famous hun­ting grounds for the trap­pers in times long gone by. The­re is still a hut built by Hen­ry Rudi, the „polar bear king“, on André­e­tan­gen, just behind the­se islands.

Gal­lery – Tjuv­fjord – 17th August 2019

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

We enjoy the love­ly pas­sa­ge in stun­ning evening light towards the migh­ty moun­tain Kval­pyn­ten – yesterday’s polar bear is still wal­king around on the slo­pes in exact­ly the same posi­ti­on – and then we anchor in Habe­nicht­buk­ta. Tomor­row we will sail towards the south cape. The wea­ther fore­cast appears to be per­fect. Fin­gers crossed it holds true.

Edgeøya – 16th August 2019

The day that brought a thick lay­er of snow to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, for the first time in mid-August in 30 years, didn’t exact­ly start with suns­hi­ne for us on Edgeøya eit­her. But that fit­ted the atmo­sphe­re well. After all, we are in the Arc­tic and not in the Car­ri­be­an.

Ins­tead of a hike on Edgeøya, we saw no less than three polar bears who wal­ked along the beach.

Later, we got our hike on Edgeøya, not far from Habe­nicht­buk­ta. Love­ly autumn colours in the tun­dra in warm suns­hi­ne!

Gal­lery – Edgeøya – 16th August 2019

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

In the evening we went around Kval­pyn­ten, a migh­ty moun­tain sti­cking out into the sea, into Tjuv­fjord.

Free­man­sund – 15th August 2019

The days are full and time is just fly­ing, some­ti­mes the blog just has to wait. The day yes­ter­day in Free­man­sund was a bit of a day!

Wide-open tun­dra on Barent­søya. Lar­ge val­leys with all the magic of the late-sum­mer tun­dra. Seve­ral thousand kit­ti­wa­kes and a curious polar fox.

Gal­lery – Free­man­sund – 15th August 2019

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

And eight polar bears.

Ice – 14th August 2019

Accor­ding to all available infor­ma­ti­on on wea­ther and ice, today should be our day for the ice. So we star­ted in the mor­ning towards the ice edge south of Nord­aus­t­land, whe­re we found all sorts of drift ice after a while … both beau­tiful ice­bergs and sea ice floes in all colours, shapes and sizes. Ama­zing! Ple­nty of harp seals were play­ing in the water, and even a rare Bowhead wha­le sur­faced for a pre­cious moment.

Gal­lery – Ice – 14th August 2019

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

Groun­ded shrimp traw­ler North­gui­der: sal­va­ging ope­ra­ti­on has star­ted

The shrimp traw­ler North­gui­der, which ran aground clo­se to Spar­ren­e­set on Nord­aus­t­land, south of Murch­ison­fjord, is still sit­ting on the rocks. The wreck is sup­po­sed to be remo­ved.

This ope­ra­ti­on has now begun: seve­ral spe­cial ships are now on loca­ti­on to get the North­gui­der off the rocks and away. The sea area around the wreck has been clo­sed for other traf­fic within one mile from the near­by shore to make sure the crews will not be dis­tur­bed during their work.

Bergung Krabbentrawler Northguider

Sal­va­ging ope­ra­ti­on – shrimp traw­ler North­gui­der

The crew of the North­gui­der could be saved after the groun­ding after seve­ral dra­ma­tic hours thanks to luck and the skill of the Nor­we­gi­an SAR forces who came with two heli­c­op­ters. Fin­gers crossed that the sal­va­ging ope­ra­ti­ons will be equal­ly suc­cessful!

Hin­lo­pen Strait – 13th August 2019

Nor­t­hern Hin­lo­pen tur­ned out to be rather unfri­end­ly today, regar­ding the wea­ther, so we took off and went south. Alkef­jel­let was the first place we visi­ted, this huge colo­ny of Brunich’s guil­l­emots that makes ever­y­bo­dy just speechl­ess.

Gal­lery – Hin­lo­pen Strait – 13th August 2019

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

The oppor­tu­ni­ty for a litt­le hike came on Von Otterøya. The wea­ther was bril­li­ant again and so were the views.

Skipper Peter working hard, fully concentrated during a difficult passage

Skip­per Peter working hard, ful­ly con­cen­tra­ted during a dif­fi­cult pas­sa­ge

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.


News-Listing live generated at 2024/June/22 at 02:07:25 Uhr (GMT+1)