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Dolerittneset („Kapp Lee“)

Pomors, trapper hut, science and walrus. 360°-Panorama

Dolerittneset is often called Kapp Lee, although Kapp Lee proper is situated a few kilometres further north, on the northwest corner of Edgeøya. Dolerittneset give a little bit of shelter against southerly wind and sea, but the little bay is still quite exposed and very shallow, so ships have to stay quite far out and landing can be difficult depending on the weather and sea state. But this is as much shelter as you will find anywhere in that area, so the little bay at Dolerittneset (the bay is actually called Stretehamna) is not only popular amongst the walrus who are often resting there but it was used both by Pomors (Russian hunters) in early times and later by Norwegian trappers. The latter ones built the octagonal hut in 1904. It was repaired by the Sysselmannen in 2009. The two smaller huts do not have any historical value, they were built in 1963 by employees of the oil company Caltex for use during their free time. Caltex did some exploration at that time on Edgeøya, but those activities came to a final end when the area was declared a Nature Reserve in 1973.

The last wintering at Dolerittneset/Kapp Lee was in 1968-69, when a Dutch team of 4 scientists established their little base close to the huts. The focus on their work was on biology. One of the team members was Ko de Korte, a zoologist who later became a key figure for the founding of Oceanwide Expeditions, an expedition cruise company that most visitors to this site will know. Who knows if Ko’s arctic enthusiasm would have been strong enough to found Oceanwide Expeditions if it had not been fuelled by his wintering at Kapp Lee/Dolerittneset? The station from 1968 was, however, later completely removed. Dutch scientists continued to visit this area during shorter summer expeditions more or less regularly until 1988 and returned once for the so-far last time in 2015 – of course with Oceanwide Expeditions. But similar visits are planned, so the tradition of Dutch science on Edgeøya may well have a future continuation.

Gallery – Kapp Lee/Dolerittneset

The huts, the wildlife and the landscape at Kapp Lee.

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


last modification: 2021-01-04 · copyright: Rolf Stange