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Monthly Archives: August 2021 − News & Stories


Reins­dyr­flya – 13th August 2021

Regar­ding the wea­ther, this Fri­day the 13th lives up to the poor repu­ta­ti­on of the date. At least we are east of the area of the stron­gest winds. Here in Lief­defjord, it is grey, wet and cold, but no pro­blem to go ashore at Vil­la Oxford, a hut built by Hil­mar Nøis in 1924, and to make a good hike across the sou­thern part of Reins­dyr­flya.

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Later, ano­t­her lan­ding takes us to the dark years of the second world war. The Ger­mans had a war wea­ther sta­ti­on cal­led „Kreuz­rit­ter“ on Reins­dyr­flya. A few scat­te­red remains and the gra­ve of the com­man­der, who blew hims­elf up by acci­dent short­ly the crew was picked up, are still to be seen.

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Mag­da­le­n­efjord – 12th August 2021

Fine views again, stun­ning sce­ne­ry here in Mag­da­le­n­efjord. Calm and clear.

Loo­king for litt­le auks, the first thing we found – or that found us – was arc­tic foxes. No less than 6 of them, inclu­ding 3 blue foxes! Incredi­b­ly curious, the­se litt­le beasts. Final­ly, we had to bring our life jackets into safe­ty.

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Later, we found the litt­le auks as we had been hoping for.

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And the wea­ther also came in the end as expec­ted. The nor­thwest cor­ner has a bad repu­ta­ti­on for being a wea­ther kit­chen, and the place lived up to its expec­ta­ti­on today. We took off to the east befo­re the wind real­ly comes as pre­dic­ted.

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Engelskbuk­ta, Ny-Åle­sund – 11th August 2021

Today’s wea­ther is a bit grey. We star­ted the day with a tun­dra walk in Engelskbuk­ta.
 
Flowers, some gra­ves and a blub­ber oven from the days of the ear­ly wha­lers.
 

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Later, we visit Ny-Åle­sund, Spitsbergen’s nort­hern­most sett­le­ment with ever­ything that beongs to it: old sto­ries and modern sci­ence, Kongsfjor­dbu­tik­ken and coal ming, polar histo­ry and a gui­ded city walk.

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Kongsfjord is grey and will remain so the next cou­p­le of days, so we lea­ve and head north befo­re we get the nort­her­ly wind that the fore­cast indi­ca­tes.

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St. Jonsfjord – 10th August 2021

For­landsund tur­ned out to be fog­gy and a bit win­dy today, so we deci­ded to have a look at St. Jonsfjord. Talk about right place and right time! Full sunshi­ne on the beau­ti­ful gla­cier sce­ne­ry in the inner part of the fjord. Many ber­gy bits on the water from the 2 pret­ty acti­ve gla­ciers in the area. One of them is cur­r­ent­ly advan­cing; the posi­ti­on that we had reached in 2019 is cove­r­ed by the gla­cier now. The other, neigh­bou­ring one is, howe­ver, retrea­ting, as most of Spitsbergen’s gla­ciers the­se days.

We mar­vel­led at this stun­ning sce­ne­ry from all per­spec­ti­ves we could think of: from a per­fect­ly pla­ced moun­tain ridge, from sea level and from a litt­le island that has only very recent­ly emer­ged from the gla­cier. Bet not too many peop­le had been the­re befo­re us!

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For­landsund – 09th August 2021

It is still Mon­day, 09 August, and the day is not over yet. After a short stretch with fog and swell, For­landsund wel­co­mes us with sunshi­ne and dozens of fin wha­les!

Later in the evening, at Prins Karls For­land, the fog has caught up again with us. Nevertheless, we take the oppor­tu­ni­ty for a late evening mee­ting with a herd of wal­rus.

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Erd­mann­flya, Ymer­buk­ta – 09th August 2021

The sun was hiding behind a low cloud lay­er, but calm wea­ther and good visi­bi­li­ty temp­ted us to hike across Erd­mann­flya, a wide tun­dra plain with many rein­de­er, various birds, lakes, wet­lands and low rocky rid­ges with lovely views. The cros­sing took a lar­ge part of the day and was com­ple­ted with clo­se-up views of Esmark­breen from the ship. Now ever­ything around us has disap­peared in the fog as we lea­ve Isfjord. Soon we will turn nor­thwards.

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

Lon­gye­ar­by­en – 08th August 2021

Final­ly, after almost 2 years, we can set sail again in Spits­ber­gen! We can hard­ly belie­ve it, but we are moving, skip­per Hein­rich, my col­league Hel­ga and nine who are keen to see a lot of Spits­ber­gen the upco­m­ing 18 days.

The first evening brings a walk in Borebuk­ta on the north side of Isfjord, a wal­rus and gre­at views over wide tun­dra are­as in the gol­den light of the mid­ni­ght sun.

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

Pyra­mi­den and Dick­son Land. And SV Anti­gua is back in Spits­ber­gen!

As I men­tio­ned recent­ly – we spend a lot of time out­side, and the­re is always some­thing to do in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. So the lap­top is clo­sed most of the time, wri­ting is not the main thing here and now. But the hiking boots are some­ti­mes stea­ming, and at other times the out­board engi­ne of our litt­le Zodiac and at yet other times the came­ra. And that is how it should be.

SV Anti­gua final­ly back in Spits­ber­gen

Antigua, Ymerbukta

Anti­gua in Ymer­buk­ta.
We went out the­re for a lovely ren­dez­vous.

Good old Anti­gua is back in Spits­ber­gen! Gre­at! We went by Zodiac to Ymer­buk­ta to meet the good ship and her crew the­re, whe­re the ship was ancho­red for a rest after the cros­sing. It was good to see Cap­tain Mario and the crew again! We took the oppor­tu­ni­ty tog­e­ther to take a detour into Cole­s­buk­ta on the way to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, whe­re the crew is now get­ting the ship rea­dy for the first depar­tu­re next week. I am loo­king for­ward to join them in late August. First, I’ll be out with SY Arc­ti­ca II soon.

Captain Mario, Colesbukta

With Mario, Cap­tain on SV Anti­gua, in Cole­s­buk­ta, cele­bra­ting the occa­si­on.

Pyra­mi­den and Dick­son Land

Now it has alrea­dy been a while sin­ce we spent some days in and around Pyra­mi­den in July. We went to look for – and found – a fos­si­li­sed forest, which was cove­r­ed with mud by a flood in a flu­vi­al plain almost 400 mil­li­on years ago. Most of the trees (sigil­la­ria) just kept stan­ding as they had been gro­wing, and the still stand the day today. We had seen ano­t­her part of this forest last year; flu­vi­al ero­si­on keeps brin­ging other parts to the light of day for a geo­lo­gi­cal split-second, befo­re they disap­pe­ar and get lost fore­ver. If you hap­pen to be in the area during this geo­lo­gi­cal moment, then you just have to take the oppor­tu­ni­ty.

And any­way, Dick­son Land is just one of Spitsbergen’s most beau­ti­ful are­as, if you ask me.

Gal­le­ry – In and around Pyra­mi­den

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

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