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A fies­ta of pro­mi­nent com­pass direc­tion: Sør­kapp – the sou­thern­most Tipp of Spits­ber­gen, the island on the nor­t­hern edge of the Barents Sea. The sun is shi­ning from due north: mid­night sun just under 77 degrees north, not long befo­re the sum­mer sol­sti­ce. An imma­cu­l­ate­ly beau­tiful evening with flat­calm sea. Other­wi­se the short recon­noi­sance landing on Spitsbergen’s sou­thern­most coast would not have been pos­si­ble: the waters are so shal­low that no ship will be able to anchor real­ly clo­se to the shore. Short­ly befo­re we went the­re, a polar bear was wal­king near the beach, but it was ama­zing how far it was away when we final­ly went.

The south cape area is the first part of Spits­ber­gen that ships pass when coming up from Nor­way. Nevert­hel­ess, it has a repu­ta­ti­on for being a rather inac­ces­si­ble area: the shal­low waters keep ships away, and it used to be in den­se ice well into the sum­mer in his­to­ri­cal times.

The coas­tal land­scape around Spitsbergen’s south cape is a wide-stret­ching, very flat coun­try. Becau­se of the cold cur­rent washing around the coast, it is more bar­ren and less den­si­ly vege­ta­ted than other are­as fur­ther north on the west coast.

The exact posi­ti­on of the pan­ora­ma is the litt­le pen­in­su­la Moloen (“The mole“), a few kilo­me­ters nor­the­ast of the sou­thern­most point of the main island Spits­ber­gen.

Sør­kapp Land seen from a distance of seve­ral nau­ti­cal miles during a love­ly mor­ning in August 2012, vie­w­ing appro­xi­m­ate­ly nor­thwest (in the cent­re):

No 360°-panorama, becau­se of the CSS3 limi­ta­ti­ons need Flash on mobi­le devices, for exam­p­le the Puf­fin Brow­ser



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last modification: 2017-12-21 · copyright: Rolf Stange