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The litt­le bay Rus­se­ham­na, situa­ted in the sou­the­as­tern part of Bear Island, is too small and too shal­low for ships, but rela­tively well shel­te­red for small boats. The shore is easi­ly acces­si­ble for Zodiacs, unless you have winds and swell from the east or sou­the­ast. Cen­tu­ries ago, the Pomors took advan­ta­ge of this and built a small hun­ting sta­ti­on. Not much is left of their shel­ter, just the foun­da­ti­ons are visi­ble direct­ly next to the modern huts. The­se belong to the Nor­we­gi­an wea­ther sta­ti­on and are used by sta­ti­on mem­bers during their free time. It is actual­ly one of Bear Island’s most beau­ti­ful huts, both the buil­ding its­elf and its natu­ral sur­roun­dings. The rocky shore­li­ne with many off­shore rocks is one of the most beau­ti­ful parts of the coast of Bear Island, which is gene­ral­ly qui­te spec­ta­cu­lar. Until the 19th cen­tu­ry the­re was a huge coas­tal cave cal­led Borg­mes­ter­por­ten, refer­ring to the Glau­cous gulls (“Borg­mes­ter”) bree­ding the­re, but it col­lap­sed in the late 19th cen­tu­ry. Not­hing but old drawings have remai­ned from Borg­mes­ter­por­ten until today.

Rus­se­ham­na was used by several expe­di­ti­ons in the ear­ly years of explo­ra­ti­on. During the 1920s, tri­al mining of the lead-bea­ring mine­ral gale­na was estab­lis­hed at two sites west of Rus­se­ham­na, south of the river, but the acti­vi­ty was small-sca­le and did not last long. Today, not much is left of it.

The way from the wea­ther sta­ti­on on the north coast to Rus­se­ham­na, west of Mise­ryfjel­let, is very sto­ny and accord­in­gly most­ly qui­te tough wal­king. It is easier in the win­ter. Wal­king is much easier in the vicini­ty of Rus­se­ham­na than fur­ther north. Due to the beau­ti­ful sce­ne­ry and the posi­ti­on as a star­ting point for tours to the spec­ta­cu­lar sou­thern part of the island, the hut at Rus­se­ham­na is a popu­lar desti­na­ti­on for hikers amongst the sta­ti­on crew.

Pan­ora­mas Rus­se­ham­na


By the way:

New book

my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!


This and other publishing products of the Spitsbergen publishing house in the Spitsbergen-Shop.

last modification: 2017-12-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange