Svalbard

Posts from Saturday 15 September, 2007

First Day Of Voyage

By Doriana // Saturday 15 Sep // 22:46:28 // 4 Comments // View

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Finally On The Ship, After A Week Of Preparation. We left Longyearbyen At Around 6:30 Supper Time. Then Me, Hailey And Jozef Also Students, Had The First Shift Of Look-Outs. So As Usual, I Was First To Steer the Ship,, I’m So Proud Of Myself!, And I Was The First To Go up In Front of The Ship Where There is A Net We Can Stand On, But I Had To Use A Safety Rope, So I A Limited Area To Walk On.. I Couldn’t Go Right to The Tip That Was BORING!!!. Our Look-Out Shifts Are 2-3 Hours Long, And We’re In 4 Groups Of 3 People per Group. So Far We Haven’t Seen Anything, but Sure Enough We’ll See Something Tomorrow! I’m Finally Feeling Excited, Just Because I Know That I’ll Be Asking Some Scientist Questions About The Future And I’ll Be Doing My Research! Can’t Wait..
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Noorderlicht Sailor

By Amélie // Saturday 15 Sep // 21:00:46 // 3 Comments // View

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Yesterday was a really awesome, cool, busy day. We met up with the kids in Longyearbyen, then we went souvenir shopping, and we started on our way to Ny Alesund, where we will be performing our scientific procedures. We stopped at Trygghamna. The sea was come and sweet until morning came. The waves shifted a bit. The following day we went for a long hike on an island next to Trygghamna. We walked for 2 hours and went back to shore. While on our walk we saw a few reindeer, some live, other dead. I was surprised to see that the whole shore was covered in rocks. A little further up the mountain we saw moss and plants growing. It takes approx. 20 years for a small cover of moss to appear. Finally when we went back to the boat and we saw 1 polar bear, from a reasonable distance. When we rang the bell everyone was rushing to the deck. Too funny. But when we finally got on deck we had to go back to our rooms to get our life jackets. I never imagined in my whole that I would be starring at a polar bear. Now I’ve seen everything, a black bear, a grizzly bear and last but not least a polar bear. Amazing.
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Arctic Fox on shore!

By Duncan // Saturday 15 Sep // 20:52:43 // 1 Comment // View

Saturday. 15th Sept 2007.
Up at about 7.45. Josef (one of the students) knocking at my cabin door telling me there’s an arctic fox on shore and I should film it. Turned out to be a Reindeer. This place is seemingly so empty and devoid of life. So little to feed on I wonder how an animal as big as a Reindeer can find enough to eat.

The Noorderlicht anchored overnight in Trygghamna (Safe Harbour), near the mouth of Isfjord. All the glaciers snaking down from the mountains end way before they reach the waters edge, dumping their load of shattered rock in massive piles on the shingle beaches. We went ashore by Zodiac, across the transparent, steely blue water, for a walk with our Danish guide Christian, armed with a rifle and pistol.
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Sailing to Ny-Alesund

By Joe // Saturday 15 Sep // 19:02:58 // View

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Akash takes tips from Gert, the Captain, on how to sail.

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Liam and Amelie haul the sails, as the Noorderlicht sails up to Ny-Alesund. 

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Eine eigentlich unbeschreibbare Reise

By Franziska // Saturday 15 Sep // 17:18:45 // 3 Comments // View

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Was fuer eine Reise!!! Gestern ging es endlich mit der Noorderlicht los nach Ny-Alesund! Natuerlich waren wir alle vorher sehr aufgeregt, denn mit so einem Schiff faehrt man nicht alle Tage.Doch auch der Donnerstag und Freitag in Longyearbyen waren super schoen. Als wir nach einem anstrengendem Flug endlich im “Basecamp”, einem sehr netten und gemuetlichen Hotel, angekommen waren ging es am Abend auch gleich zu einem Jugendklub wo wir mit norwegischen Jugendlichen geredet haben. Wir haben Tischfussball gespielt, Musik gehoehrt, Pizza gegessen und Spass gehabt. Am Freitag haben wir die Schule hier in Longyearbyen besucht. Das war ein tolles Erlebniss, den deren Schule ist ganz anders als unsere!!! Schuhe zu tragen ist verboten, dem entsprechend ist es sehr sauber. Die Klassen sind gross, mordern eingerichtet und super schoen. Sie haben ausserdem einen Fitnessraum und ein Schwimmbad. Die Schueler waren total offen und sympathisch.Ina und ich haben Live Bloging gemacht und hatten ein sehr lustiges Interview mit dem “Tigerentenclub”.Und dann ging es auch schon los: Nach dem das ganze Gepaeck aufgeladen war, konnten wir zum ersten Mal auf das Schiff. Es ist gross, gemuetlich und komfortabel. Ein schnelles Einraeumen der Zimmer, dann gab es Essen von “Anna”, die Koechin. Das war soooo lecker!!!….mhhhh…Und dann wurde auch schon losgesgelt: Wir wurden in Gruppen aufegteielt, und muessen mehrere Schichten pro Tag uebernehmen. Es bringt wirklich sehr viel Spass und keiner wollte ins Bett gehen.
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An altered reality

By Shona // Saturday 15 Sep // 17:12:30 // 3 Comments // View

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Location: NOORDELICHT, COOOMIN ROOM/ WEST SVALBARD
My whole world has been turned upside down over the last two days. Things that seemed important or relevant before doesn’t seem to matter now. Being surrounded by this sheer beauty and vastness has made me think and about the importance of life and the place humans have in our planet. Being on this ship I feel incredibly close to nature and what our planet should be. Back home we have created a reality for ourselves that seems rather fake when you experience this. What I am seeing here is real and the land that Mother Nature has given us originally and we have altered it so much. And I don’t think that we should have the right to determine what happens to this land when it gave us the right to live here in the first place. Seeing where the sun meets the water and the land makes me feel like I am on the edge of the earth and we are sailing to a peaceful end. If heaven exists I think that it might look like this.

On a lighter note today we saw a polar bear on the shore! Yes I saw a polar bear! We were returning to the ship after our 2hr hike and the captain spotted the bear walking exactly where we had just been. It was crazy to think that we had just been there and if we waited onshore any longer we might have run into him. Then we raised the sails on the ship and have been sailing ever since. We are now in open water and I have slowly gotten used to the rocking and movement the waves create onboard. At first I felt a bit sick but now I can handle it when I am on the higher levels (forget it in the cabins). Tea is soon and then I have another watch to do. The first was eventful with the polar bear and the sails being raised. I hope the next one is just as lively. Blogging is difficult for me with the seasickness so bear with me. Today I have been feeling a little down (not my normal, loud self). I have been trying to take it all in and make sense of it all. It still all seems a little surreal.

Love and miss you all,
Shona x

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Exploring the Arctic

By Liam // Saturday 15 Sep // 17:07:27 // 2 Comments // View

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Hi Guys,
I’m finally here even though it is hard to believe. We flew from Heathrow to Stockholm after a hectic day of sightseeing. That evening we got around three hours sleep, because we had a flight at 6 am to Oslo. Then we had a connecting flight to Longyearbyen (capital of Svalbard) stopping shortly at Tromso (north Norway). However after a life long journey we have arrived and it is astonishing. You can’t visualise it at all the air, temperature and light is all completely different. This evening we had a tour of the town and visited museum learning about the history of Svalbard and its mining. We then met some of the children of Svalbard at a youth club. It was incredible how much we all have in common despite the place they live in.
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Tot oder Lebendig?

By Katharina // Saturday 15 Sep // 16:45:27 // 6 Comments // View

Heute Morgen, bevor wir uns auf den Weg nach Ny Alesund gemacht haben, sind wir mit einem kleinen Schlauchboot an Land gebracht worden und haben einen Spatziergang gemacht. Wir haben jede Menge Knochen gefunden, unter anderen auch einen Wirbelknochen eines Wals, und Fluegel von Voegeln, einen toten, angeknabberten Polar Fuchs und ein totes Renntier, von dem ausser dem Fell, ein paar Knochen und der Kopf nichts mehr uebrig war. Warscheinlich ist es gestuerzt, hat sich das Genick gebrochen und wurde dann von Fuechsen verspeist.
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Two puffins and a polar bear!

By Jessica // Saturday 15 Sep // 16:35:40 // 1 Comment // View

Two puffins and a polar bear! We set sail last evening, at about 6, having had to get all the luggage – including camera, media and scientific equipment, on board by carrying it through another ship! We sailed out of Longyearbyen for a few hours and moored up in a bay called Trygghamna, which is Norwegian for “safe harbour,” very beautiful place, surrounded on all three sides by snow capped mountains. We ate a very welcome dinner of salmon and pasta, followed by grapes and cheese! Anna, the cook, is fantastic and keeps making us all lovely food to keep us going as it is rather cold!!!!

It’s around about zero degrees and getting colder as we travel north. Yesterday we went to visit the school in Longyearbyen and met some of the teachers and students, they showed us around there school, as there are a lot less students there than at Kidbrooke they teach them as a year group and the teachers teach lots of different subjects, though they have specialist rooms for gym, art and tech. The students made us a lovely soup from vegetables and sausages and one of the students played their guitar for us, apparently he taught himself how to play and has played for the King of Norway, he was very impressive!!

Woke early this morning and rushed onto deck as an arctic fox had apparently been spotted, except it was a reindeer!! Just goes to show how distance and scale are very hard to judge here, especially because there are no trees. That woke us up bright and early and after breakfast we were ready to go for a long trek, Christian the guide had to give us a safety lecture on how to behave if we saw a polar bear and he showed us what he would do with his flare gun and rifle if a bear came too close. However, he said, it was unlikely we would see a bear in that area at this time of year so we were not to worry. Off we set, walking along the shoreline and spotting whale bones and different varieties of lichens and vegetation.

As Christian guided us up a rather steep slope at the bottom of a mountain one of the students spotted the carcass of an arctic fox, most of the body had been eaten but its tail and paws were still intact. A few metres on we came across the carcass of a reindeer, Christian thought that it had probably fallen down the scree and broken it’s neck, it was rather sad looking! We walked under a mountain called Bird Ledge where hundreds of seabirds nest – very noisy! After walking for two and a half hours the Noorderlicht sailed to us and sent the zodiac to come and pick us up from the shore.

On our return we had to raise the sails, which took a lot of organisation and effort – need strong arms to raise sails, and we were taught how to tie nautical knots – very useful!! We then sat down to lunch, at which point the Captain came in to say he could see a polar bear on the shore!!! We think had been attracted by our scent! It was an amazing sight and though it was far away I managed to get some really good shots, everyone was on deck capturing the bear in as many forms as possible! As we were staring in awe at the bear a pair of puffins flew by!! I am sooooo happy now, I really wanted to see a polar bear and some puffins and I got see both at once!! WOW!!!!!!

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My team were on watch for the next two hours and we hoisted sails and tied knots and steered and learned a lot about how to sail a ship! Whilst keeping an eye on the polar bear until he decided to toddle off over the mountains! We also saw some guillemots and some arctic gulls, it really is amazing experiencing all this wildlife! Jethro is now strumming on his guitar whilst we are blogging, writing diaries, making tea and chilling after a hard days work – team 4 have just raised the mainsail! Having such a fantastic experience so far, hard work but well worth it!! Speak soon, Jess x

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Volle Kraft voraus!

By Katharina // Saturday 15 Sep // 16:35:18 // 2 Comments // View

Die Norderlicht. Ruhig und friedlich liegt der 2-Mast-Schooner im Hafen von Longyearbyen. Bis gestern. Denn dann kamen wir. Um 6:00 pm starteten wir unsere erste Fahrt nach Trygghamna, was sicherer Hafen bedeutet, wo wir die Nacht verbracht haben. Die See war ruhig und man hatte einen wundervollen Blick ueber die ganzen Schnee bedeckten Berge. Irgendwann am spaeten Abend, kurz bevor wir Trygghamna erreichten, began meine Schicht an Deck und ich habe das Schiff in den Hafen ( wenn man das so nennen konnte) gefahren und eingeparkt. Alle haben mich gelobt. Und da sag noch mal einer “Frauen und einparken!”

Ich hab mich aber nicht wirklich wohl beim lenken des Schiffs gefuehlt, weil ich die ganze Zeit auf einen Eisberg zuhalten musste und dachte, dass wir bald das gleiche Schicksal teilen wie die Titanic! Es ist dann aber Gott sei Dank doch alles gut gegangen. Die Nacht war auch ganz ertraeglich. Die Betten sind zwar ein bisschen klein, genauso wie alles andere hier auf dem Schiff, aber das kann man aushalten!

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