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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → From Farm­ham­na to Lon­gye­ar­by­en

From Farm­ham­na to Lon­gye­ar­by­en

I have retur­ned to Lon­gye­ar­by­en after five weeks in Farm­ham­na. Back to civi­li­sa­ti­on – well, in a wider sen­se. Lon­gye­ar­by­en, any­way. And in time for the sun fes­ti­val, the second one this year for me. We had one in Farm­ham­na alre­a­dy on 16 Febru­ary 🙂

The time I spent in Farm­ham­na was plain­ly won­derful. Rich and full in expe­ri­en­ces and impres­si­ons. Stun­ning and inte­res­t­ing. A lot of food for an arc­tic-hun­gry soul and for a simi­lar­ly min­ded came­ra.

But this chap­ter is over now for me. I have been a litt­le lazy in Farm­ham­na con­cer­ning wri­ting here, I spent most of the time the­re in the “here and now”. I have to get back to that. But not now.

Farm­ham­na is not the end of the world, but not far from it eit­her. Get­ting the­re and away is not just done easi­ly and quick­ly, as the­se pic­tures may illus­tra­te:


Surf can always make life dif­fi­cult on the west coast (and else­whe­re) …

So far, this year seems to bring a lot of ice to the “cold coast” (Sval­bard), at least in rela­ti­on to recent stan­dards. The­re is quite a bit of ice even on the west coast right now, as the ice chart shows. Too often, the­re has been hard­ly any ice at this time of year in recent years.


… and ice isn’t an unknown phe­no­me­non in Spits­ber­gen eit­her.

Also in the Farm­ham­na area, the­re has been quite a lot of ice in recent weeks. At times, the litt­le pen­in­su­la was com­ple­te­ly blo­cked from all direc­tions, and other bays in the area were also fil­led with ice. Not neces­s­a­ri­ly thick and solid, but enough to keep a boat from get­ting the­re.


This is what the bay Farm­ham­na has been like the last cou­ple of weeks.

The com­bi­na­ti­on of surf on one side of the pen­in­su­la and ice on the other side added some extra exci­te­ment (and sweat) to the exch­an­ge ope­ra­ti­on, whe­re I left Farm­ham­na and Rico got his fami­ly back. Final­ly it work­ed. The two Hen­nings­ens of Henn­ningsen Trans­port and Gui­ding in Lon­gye­ar­by­en made it pos­si­ble with their litt­le but strong ship Farm (the­re is inde­ed a rela­ti­onship bet­ween the place and the boat, as the name sug­gests) and some good Zodiac dri­ving to shut­tle peo­p­le and car­go in and out in chal­len­ging con­di­ti­ons.

Ice and Zodiac

Zodiac ope­ra­ti­on in icy waters.

On board, the­re was a small group of peo­p­le, inclu­ding Kris­ti­na, who were the­re for the rare oppor­tu­ni­ty of a visit to Farm­ham­na. This did unfort­u­na­te­ly not work out, given the con­di­ti­ons. Ins­tead, they got a fair bit of rock’n’roll on the boat at times. In the end, we were hap­py that we could make the key part of the ope­ra­ti­on work. Don’t ever take any­thing for gran­ted on and around the­se islands!


Farm in posi­ti­on in Farm­ham­na.



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last modification: 2022-03-08 · copyright: Rolf Stange