tirsdag 1. mars 2011

Loggbok fra Svalbard-cruise

På Spitsbergen Travels engelske websider kan du lese utdrag av loggboken ekspedisjonslederen skriver underveis på våre Svalbard-cruise. Loggboken får de reisende etter turen; den er en del av produktet.

Her er et eksempel. Loggen er fra 13. juni 2010:

SUNDAY, June 13th 2010
Moffen: 80° 00‟ N, 014° 27.8‟ E
Our furthest north: 81° 06‟ N
Phippsoya – 80° 40‟ N, 021° 00‟ E
Weather: foggy early, overcast later, calm
Temperature: 6° C/43º F

We reached the walrus haul-out on the island of Moffen at approximately 01.30 in the morning. The island is very unusual because it resembles a tropical atoll – it is low-lying and made of shingle with a large lagoon in the middle, which was still frozen over. From some distance away we could see that there were many walrus. In addition to some in the water there were three groups on land; the total number was estimated at 140-150. Despite their huge size walrus eat mainly shellfish and crabs. The most exciting bird was one of the very rarely-seen Sabine‟s Gulls. Only a few pairs of this species nest in Svalbard and Moffen is one of the regular places to see them. After flying along the beach it flew out towards us and gave some of us excellent views. After spending more than 30 minutes at the island the ship moved away and those of us who had got up went back to bed.

During breakfast it was a little foggy but by the time we had finished eating viewing conditions had improved and we could see our first drift ice. We were right on the edge of the ice field and it was broken into many floes. Most were quite small but there were a lot of larger sheets too. All eyes were looking for wildlife and although there were plenty of birds the only sign of bears were some old footprints in the snow. Another highlight of the voyage, in addition to pushing through the ice, was crossing an invisible line – 81° 06.71‟ North (and 019° 39.48‟ E). The captain sounded the horn in recognition of our achievement and we celebrated with some Norwegian liquor (not as nice as Scotch whisky!).

After lunch we were again in open water but as we approached Seven Islands more ice came into view. Soon our first Polar Bear was spotted from the bridge but it was a long, long way away. Luckily, as we turned around to get closer to the bear, another one was seen in front of us; it was a big male. The ship slowed down and stopped and the bear very slowly started to come towards us. This was very exciting and the bear kept coming! Eventually it was only a few metres behind us and then it slowly walked away. It was a marvellous chance to see, photograph and video the “King of the Arctic” at close range.

Leaving the bear behind, we sailed the short distance to Phipps Island, one of the Seven Islands. On the way we saw Ross Island, the northernmost point in Europe. Once the ship was at anchor we set off in a fleet of zodiacs to explore the bay between Phipps, Martens and Parry Islands. There was still winter ice in one of the bay and some people had the chance to get out of the boats and set foot on the floating mass. There was even time for a snowball fight, during which the English beat the French! Another highlight was to get very close to a group of Walrus; some were on ice and some were in the water. One of them had very long tusks and others came closer to have a look at us.

Once we were all aback aboard the ship weighed anchor and turned southwest, towards the Hinlopen Strait.

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