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Yearly Archives: 2022 − News & Stories


Hin­lo­pen Strait – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2022

The wide polar desert land­scapes of Nord­aus­t­land invi­ted for a good hike with gre­at views of the ice cap, coas­tal plain and the sea.

Alkef­jel­let ist always a spe­cial expe­ri­ence. Today it was even more so, espe­ci­al­ly for tho­se who know it during the sum­mer. But the sum­mer is a mat­ter of the past by now, at least the bree­ding sea­son of the Brünich’s guil­l­emots. The remai­ning guil­l­emots on the cliffs may just have num­be­red up to a dozen or so. But the kit­ti­wa­kes were still the­re in num­bers and gave us the (still true) impres­si­on of a very lively place. And as it has been said so many times: the­se cliffs alo­ne would be a good Zodiac crui­se even wit­hout birds. And so it is.

Gal­lery – Hin­lo­pen Strait – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2022

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

Brås­vell­breen – 01st Sep­tem­ber 2022

A day at Brås­vell­breen, the sou­thern part of the gre­at ice cap of Aus­t­fon­na on Nord­aus­t­land – yes­ter­day we still thought we wouldn’t be going here, becau­se of the wea­ther. But then a win­dow ope­ned up, and we were more than hap­py to use it.

Brås­vell­breen is an unbe­lie­va­ble place, just other­world­ly.

Gal­lery – Brås­vell­breen – 01st Sep­tem­ber 2022

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

Sou­the­ast Sval­bard – 31st August 2022

An ama­zing day, and ever­y­thing work­ed out as plan­ned, just for a chan­ge! You couldn’t have ima­gi­ned some­thing more beau­tiful. The bright autumn colours of the tun­dra in Rosen­berg­da­len. A huge pile of wal­ru­ses at Kapp Lee (Dole­ritt­ne­set, to be more pre­cise). Water like a mir­ror in Free­man­sund, with count­less reinde­er on the sur­roun­ding islands. Thou­sands of kit­ty­wa­kes and a polar fox on Barent­søya.

Zeiløya­ne are a land­scape expe­ri­ence of their own, in a rather spe­cial way. A few met­res wide only, but seve­ral kilo­me­t­res long.

Gal­lery – Sou­the­ast Sval­bard – 31st August 2022

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

Edgeøya – 30th August 2022

Things rare­ly go accor­ding to plan A on a wild arc­tic island such as Edgeøya. A lot of hikes tur­ned out to be shorter the­re than plan­ned due to the pre­sence of polar bears. Same thing today, near Habe­nicht­buk­ta. Which didn’t mat­ter. Ins­tead of one lon­ger hike, we made two shorter ones.

And then one more polar bear, this time one we could actual­ly see well. And then yet ano­ther hike. In the light of the evening sun.

Gal­lery – Edgeøya – 30th August 2022

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

Sør­kapp – Isbuk­ta – 29th August 2022

The south cape (Sør­kapp) – well, the­re are tho­se rare, gol­den days, when you can actual­ly do some­thing the­re.

Then the­re are tho­se days when you real­ly don’t want to be in that area at all.

And then the­re are tho­se days in bet­ween. Then you just sail around the south cape and you get from one side to the other wit­hout too much delay or other trou­bles. That’s what we got today.

On the east coast, the wea­ther was quite grey, but good enough to go for a fine walk in Isbuk­ta, whe­re were also coll­ec­ted seve­ral bags of pla­s­tic gar­ba­ge on the bea­ches.

Gal­lery – Isbuk­ta – 29th August 2022

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

Akseløya – Dunder­buk­ta – 28th August 2022

The­re is still a fresh bree­ze blo­wing out of the lar­ge fjords, and the wea­ther fore­cast remains an important tool for the plan­ning. Akseløya gives us enough shel­ter for a mor­ning hike, and later we make good use of the wind and set sails.

Later, we get a good moment for a rare landing on the west coast, name­ly in Dunder­buk­ta, in the most beau­tiful evening light.

Gal­lery – Akseløya – Dunder­buk­ta – 28th August 2022

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

Isfjord – Recher­chefjord – 26th-27th August 2022

It was a bit of a quick chan­geo­ver in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, most of my gear did not even go to town, but direct­ly from ship to ship in the har­bour. Now we are alre­a­dy well on the way with SV Mean­der, a beau­tiful, small sai­ling ship.

We made the first landing alre­a­dy a few hours after depar­tu­re, in Coles­buk­ta. It kind of hap­pen­ed that way.

The first full day hap­pen­ed today in Recher­chefjord. Gla­cier, moun­tain, tun­dra …

Gal­lery – Isfjord – Recher­chefjord – 26th-27th August 2022

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

Bell­sund – 22nd-24th August 2022

„Bell­sund“ – just one word. This time, it stands for almost 3 unfor­gettable days. From Fin wha­les under the mid­night sun (just about to touch the hori­zon again) to a ran­ge of beau­tiful walks and hikes, visits to various islands and wild­life sightin­gs.

Today it was time to lea­ve this beau­tiful area. We are now back in Isfjord and thus almost back in civi­li­sa­ti­on (and back to grey and wet wea­ther, but this is of cour­se coin­ci­dence, it could have been the other way around). Tonight we will be back in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Fin wha­les and white-bea­k­ed dol­phins joi­n­ed us for an while on the last cou­ple of miles, as if to make our good­bye swee­ter.

So, this is the end of a tru­ly unfor­gettable voya­ge, as rich of all kinds of Spits­ber­gen expe­ri­en­ces and impres­si­ons as you can just ima­gi­ne, or pos­si­bly even well bey­ond that. In the best of spi­rits, for which I tru­ly thank all tho­se invol­ved, first of all Hein­rich Eggen­fell­ner, skip­per and owner of Arc­ti­ca II!

Gal­lery – Bell­sund – 22nd-24th August 2022

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

Hyt­te­vi­ka – Dunøya­ne – 21st August 2022

It is good to be back on the west coast. The south cape can be a bit of a chall­enge, depen­ding on wind and wea­ther, but it went well again and we arri­ved in Hyt­te­vi­ka alre­a­dy during the mor­ning. That is the place whe­re the legen­da­ry fema­le trap­per Wan­ny Wold­stad win­tered a cou­ple of times during the 1930s.

Later we made a landing on Dunøya­ne. Bird have been bree­ding the­re every sum­mer for thou­sands of years, which is cle­ar­ly seen on the rich tun­dra of the­se small islands, and the rich bird life is stun­ning also after the bree­ding sea­son (during which the islands may not be visi­ted).

Pho­tos – Hyt­te­vi­ka – Dunøya­ne – 21st August 2022

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Kval­vå­gen – 20th August 2022

If you mana­ge to get ashore in the most­ly quite expo­sed coast during the long stretch around the south cape, then I would always con­sider it a bonus.

Gre­at when it works. And even bet­ter when it hap­pens to be in Kval­vå­gen. A stun­ning place! Ab out 100 mil­li­on years ago, dino­saurs wal­ked around and left their foot­prints. You can still see some of them. And the sce­n­ery is inde­ed quite ama­zing!

But the wea­ther has to be on your side for a landing the­re. It is a chal­len­ging place in case of swell or onshore wind.

Gal­lery – Kval­vå­gen – 20th August 2022

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

Heley­sund – 19th August 2022

Anyo­ne who might have been lon­ging for a peri­od of rest after all tho­se hikes and acti­vi­ties got that now, if you want it or not. After a while of wai­ting some wind and wea­ther out in sou­thern Hin­lo­pen Strait, it was time to set cour­se for Heley­sund. But whe­re­ver we wan­ted to make a landing on the way the­re, the­re were alre­a­dy polar bears han­ging out on shore.

Pho­tos – Heley­sund – 19th August 2022

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The islands of Hin­lo­pen Strait – 18th August 2022

Wahl­ber­gøya is the second lar­gest island of Hin­lo­pen Strait, fol­lo­wed by Von Otterøya. Polar desert land­scape, wha­le­bo­nes thou­sands of years old, wide-open plains with fos­sil beach rid­ges, silent litt­le lakes, lonely flowers, ple­nty of fos­sils and rocky hills with gre­at views of all the scenic beau­ty.

Gal­lery – The islands of Hin­lo­pen Strait – 18th August 2022

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

Hin­lo­pen Street – 17th august 2022

A long hike took us from the lagoon Cla­ra­vå­gen to the old Swe­dish rese­arch sta­ti­on in Kinn­vi­ka and back. Later, Hin­lo­pen Strait pre­sen­ted us with some of her mira­cles of natu­re, such as wha­les, polar bears and the famous bird cliff Alkef­jel­let. A gre­at day, which came a bit as a sur­pri­se, con­side­ring the poor wea­ther fore­cast.

Gal­lery – Hin­lo­pen Street – 17th august 2022

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

Cherm­si­deøya-Fran­k­lin­sund – 16th August 2022

It was about time to get back to Hin­lo­pen Strait. After a mor­ning walk on Cherm­si­deøya, we pas­sed Bren­ne­vins­fjord and Lady Fran­k­lin­fjord and ente­red Fran­k­lin­sund. Most­ly known as a dan­ge­rous water­way, it can actual­ly have its plea­sant sides at least if you mana­ge to find a sui­ta­ble land site that works even when it is win­dy as it was by then.

Gal­lery – Cherm­si­deøya-Fran­k­lin­sund – 16th August 2022

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

Orvin Land: Glen­hal­vøya. Alpi­niøya, Alber­ti­ni­buk­ta – 15th August 2022

Orvin Land … ever heard of that? The end of the world, the eas­tern part of Nord­aus­t­land (North East Land). Whe­re the land dis­ap­pears under the ice.

The Swe­dish Ymer-Expe­di­ti­on built a hut on Glen­hal­vøya in 1980, so sci­en­tists could spend some time the­re. In 2001, Hein­rich Eggen­fell­ner, owner and skip­per of our ship Arc­ti­ca II, was the­re with Ste­fa­no Poli, foun­der of the North Pole Expe­di­ti­on Muse­um in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. They went the­re by Zodiac, ama­zin­gly. In 2015, the Sys­sel­man­nen was the­re for an inspec­tion. And now we were the­re. A lone­so­me place.

You may have heard of Alpi­niøya. Sjef van Don­gen and Gen­na­ro Sora left a depot with some equip­ment the­re during their search for Nobi­le in 1928. We didn’t find any of it. Nevert­hel­ess, a stun­ning place.

As if this hadn’t been enough, we spent the evening at the huge gla­cier Schweig­aard­breen in Alber­ti­ni­buk­ta. A breath­ta­king place!

Gal­lery – Orvin Land: Glen­hal­vøya. Alpi­niøya, Alber­ti­ni­buk­ta – 15th August 2022

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

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