Svalbard

Posts from Friday 14 September, 2007

Our first stop: Trygghamna

By Keith // Friday 14 Sep // 23:30:59 // View

After about five hours from Longyearbyen on the 120ft schooner the Noordelicht we arrived tonight at the bay of Trygghamna. The water was still and peaceful throughout the journey.

After days on preparing, training and being shadowed by cameras in London and the long haul first to Stockholm, then Oslo, then Tromso, it felt wonderful to finally be on the Noorderlicht. The sense of relief once we started to moved through the waters and away from Longyearbyen was apparent by the quiet that passed over us all as we watched (and photographed) the mountains to the North and South, separated by the dark, still Arctic waters.

The Noordelicht is an amazing vessel with a crew steeped in as much history as the ship itself. Built in 1912, the original steel hull remains in tact, principally because it is thicker than the average schooner to allow her safe passage through the ice sheets she regularly navigated in her earlier days. The interior is wood throughout and though the cabins are small, they are comfortable. The cook, Anna, has a 3 m2 galley in which to muster up meals for the 19 of us from Cape Farewell and the crew of 5. The food I had this evening was easily the tastiest I’d had since leaving home in Frome; homemade soup, salmon and cheese and grapes to finish.

After about 2 hours on board, Doriana (one of the students from Canada) went along the bowsprit. With breathtaking confidence she travelled almost the full length of the 60 ft bowsprit without batting an eyelid. Not to be outdone I also gave it go. With nothing more than a flexible net underfoot I managed about 15 ft before turning back to the safety of the ships deck. Maybe tomorrow I’ll attempt to go a little further.

Before leaving Longyearbyen we visited the Cape Farewell school.

It has gone almost completed dark tonight. Last night a little light remained throughout…..I know because I kept waking up to look out of the hotel window at Longyearbyen.

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First night on the Noorderlicht

By Joe // Friday 14 Sep // 23:00:08 // View

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Our first night on board the Noorderlicht

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Sailing up the Svalbard!!

By Jessica // Friday 14 Sep // 18:02:00 // 4 Comments // View

We’re about to sail off to Ny Alesund, the Noorderlicht is in the harbour and we’re just packing up at Base Camp, I just bought some really brilliant boots, rubber moulded soles, waterproof and really really warm! !!! Everyone says they’re “awesome”!!

We have been at the Longyearbyen Skole all morning, the students showed us around the site, they have a gym and a pool and some very well equipped classrooms, they are taught in years and have one base room for each year, and the teachers teach lots of different subjects, they have specialist rooms for tech and art ! It was a very well designed ålace, very clean and the students were very proud of their environment. We did some climate change workshops with them and I think they learned some very different ways of expressing themselves compared to what they are used to!

I cannot believe how much we have done so far, and I am sooooo excited about getting on the ship. Hope everyone back home isn’t missing me too much!!

See you soon,

Jess x

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Svalbard Day 1

By Duncan // Friday 14 Sep // 12:35:08 // 2 Comments // View

Just about minus 1 outside but felt cold after the ‘comfort’ of air-conditioned planes and airports that have been home for 36 hours.

Svalbard was hidden below low cloud as we flew in, From above the clouds looked like snow,  and as we descended through it I was surprised to see the mountain slopes a rich red-brown, the remains of the summer’s grasses.

The huge mountains all around the settlement of Longyearbyen look as if dusted lightly with icing sugar, with the ice fractured rocks jutting through revealing their sedimentary layers.

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I’ve made friends with Rocky the young Alaskan Husky who has his kennel outside the basecamp  hotel. He’s the strong silent type, bred solely for sledge pulling and his attractive grey and white fur is not show, but solely for keeping the dog warm. He has incredible sky blue eyes.

We are all suffering from ‘too many pockets syndrome’, we have to carry around so many things we can never remember which pocket we put them in.  Children all loving it, and friendships are developing.

Dan Harvey the artist mentor, is growing a beard, I am sending day 1 picture and will keep you posted.
Duncan

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First thoughts

By Dan // Friday 14 Sep // 10:49:27 // 3 Comments // View

So a very long journey up here via Stockholm, Oslo, Tromso then here to Longyearbyen. Arrived with snow falling, although not much has settled (leaving the textured rock surfaces drawn and enhanced with white dust).
There is something about returning here- so far away from the life style we live back down South and yet now very familiar to me.
The age of this land, the rock formations. You can read through it’s history, the strata laid down over millenniums, exposed, eroded and cracked into dust by the cold and ice.
It’s a raw reality that belittles everything else and puts this world back into perspective. Lonyearbyen is like a Wild West frontier town, one of the changes though is that now they are beginning to place advertising flags down the main street, lets hope this is kept to a minimum, and in fact shouldn’t be allowed at all !
Have tried today to pick up a Polar Bear bone from the Sysselmannen’s Environmental Adviser – it was put aside for us 2 years ago. Seems that I now need a CITES agreement to import it back to the UK for a piece of work Heather and I are working on. Hope Heather can get this for me by my return here next week!

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Katharina’s Live Arctic QA

By Cape Farewell // Friday 14 Sep // 09:02:46 // 39 Comments // View

Live QA session is now closed

Read the transcript from Katharina’s Live Arctic QA

Fri 14th Sept, 9.30am GMT (11.30am Hamburg)
This session is now closed. Katharina was online live from the Arctic for 30 minutes on Friday 14th. We hope you enjoyed the QA and her video diary broadcast direct from Longyearbyen.

Read the transcript below to see who took part and what was said. Thanks to all that joined us, especially Frauke and the team at the British Council, Germany.
Click to read the full post >

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Franziska’s Live Arctic QA

By Cape Farewell // Friday 14 Sep // 09:01:59 // 39 Comments // View

Live QA session is now closed

Read the transcript from Franziska’s Live Arctic QA

Fri 14th Sept, 9.30am GMT (11.30am Hamburg)
This session is now closed. Franziska was online live from the Arctic for 30 minutes on Friday 14th. We hope you enjoyed the QA and her video diary broadcast direct from Longyearbyen.

Read the transcript below to see who took part and what was said. Thanks to all that joined us, especially Frauke and the team at the British Council, Germany.
Click to read the full post >

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Katharina’s video now live!

By Cape Farewell // Friday 14 Sep // 08:59:43 // View

Get Flash to see this player.

Fri 14th Sept, 9am GMT (11am Hamburg)
Watch Katharina’s video diary, direct from Longyearbyen, Svalbard as the crew gets ready to sail on the Noorderlicht. (Duration: 1:10 mins)
Thank you for all your initial questions! If you are a pupil at Walddörfer Gesamtschule join Katharina online for a quick QA at 9.30am GMT (11.30am Hamburg). Follow the link below!
Click to read the full post >

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Franziska’s video now live!

By Cape Farewell // Friday 14 Sep // 08:58:46 // View

Get Flash to see this player.

Fri 14th Sept, 9am GMT (11am Hamburg)
Watch Franziska’s video diary, direct from Longyearbyen, Svalbard as the crew gets ready to sail on the Noorderlicht. (Duration: 1:20 mins)
Thank you for all your initial questions! If you are a pupil at Lise-Meitner join Franziska online for a quick QA at 9.30am GMT (11.30am Hamburg). Follow the link below!
Click to read the full post >

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Norway and all it has to offer

By Shona // Friday 14 Sep // 07:59:03 // 4 Comments // View

Im in Svalbard!

After a long day of flying we have finally made it to Svalbard. We took 4 flights and crossed 3 countries to get here but it is well worth the time. It is just breath taking. The mountains and the glaciers are like nothing that i have ever seen before. The land is so vast and enormous it is had to believe that humans could even live here.

          We are sailing today up to Ny-Alesund today. It is almost a 2 day trip and i am really looking forward to it. We have to do 3hr watches and i hope that mine is at sunrise. Today we are off to the school and shopping (a norwiegan kroner doesnt go far) then its off to sea.

Send your comments i want to hear from you and get my school as involved as they can be. My video is going up on the 19th at 12. Et un gros merci aux chums de RMC pour leurs commentaires, votre support est tres apprecier. Love you mum, dad and the others,

 Talk to you later,

Shona

p.s i hope that i dont get sea sick!

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