Svalbard

Posts from Saturday 15 September, 2007

Polar Bear in Svalbard!

By Jethro // Saturday 15 Sep // 16:10:07 // View

The first 3 days in Svalbard have been incredible. When we arrived from Oslo I was really tired because we didn’t get much sleep the night before but when we got to Longyearbyen I woke up immediately. We had a tour of the town of Longyearbyen and went to the museum to find more about Svalbard. We went to the youth centre to meet the youth of Longyearbyen and they were great! Some were Norwegian and some were from other places but they apparently don’t give stuff about climate change. This is weird because if sea levels rose by just a little bit then the whole town would be underwater. When we got back from there we all went ff in little groups. The people I was with went for a wander to the frozen river coming off the glacier. The hotel we stayed in was called Base Camp, it was really swish and we four boys shared a room big enough for six. We went to the school that the pupils visit and it’s better than ours! There’s only about 200 people going to it at the most and they have a huge sports hall and a swimming pool! The boat is… cozy. The cabin I’m in is a small room with a bunk bed and a sink, there is about 50 squared centimeters of floor space to put two bags and a guitar on. It is very cramped. Today we went onshore in Svalbard; we got a Zodiac (dingy) onto the shore and walked along the beach and part of the way up a mountain. When we got back onto the boat we started sailing again, the boat had been going on a diesel engine the day before because there was no wind. It was fun hoisting up the sails and tying up all the ropes and as soon as we got inside to eat lunch we noticed that there was a polar bear outside. The polar bear was walking along the shore towards where we were just 10 minutes earlier. If we had stayed there we could have seen it a bit too close. We were on the boat so we followed it down the coast trying to get a good photo. It was a bit far away but the pros got some good ones. We saw a puffin as well. I also went on watch were I put up the sails again and had some time to relax.

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London, Longyearbyen, Trigghamna

By Josef // Saturday 15 Sep // 16:04:29 // 5 Comments // View

Hello all,

It’s been a few days since I last blogged so this may be a long one.

On Wednesday we flew from London Heathrow to Stockholm which was exciting because it was my first ever flight. Then, on Thursday morning (very early on Thursday morning) we flew from Stockholm to Oslo then Oslo to Longyearbyen.

In Longyearbyen we had a short tour of the mining town before going to the museum. There were many opportunities for taking photos of the surrounding scenery although I didn’t have long because we were going to the Norwegian youth club. There I met Andreas and Daniel- two Norwegian (Svalbardian) boys who both had an extremely good understanding of English. We ate pizza and played pool and talked about their life in the arctic

On Thursday we went to the school to do a workshop with the local children. Firstly however, we sat through a long presentation by Daniel about life in Svalbardian and also the annual reindeer hunt that the school children participate in. We then ate soup and bread made by the children. Afterwards, we did  a movement piece with the children about climate change. We then had an hour to walk around Longyearbyen. Later we boarded the Noorderlicht (which was a lot smaller than I was led to believe). I was on first watch  for three hours with Hayley and Doriana. We sailed to Trigghamna (Norwegian for “safe harbor”).

Today, we went onshore for a little walk. Amongst other things, we saw a dead reindeer, a dead arctic fox and bits of dead whale. It was very interesting and exciting to be walking amongst such a different environment to what I’m used to. About 20 minutes after we came back we saw a polar bear walking onshore. It was really cool seeing this big and powerful animal walking where we had just been.

Anyhooo, that’s it for now. Bye.

P.S.

Please note that the mobile phones don’t work up here so I may not contact anyone until the end of the voyages

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Climate change though the eyes of Akash

By Akash // Saturday 15 Sep // 10:30:04 // View

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Climate change though the eyes of Akash, onshore at Trygghamna.

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Franzi in Trygghamna

By Franziska // Saturday 15 Sep // 09:13:18 // View

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Franzi on shore in Trygghamna.

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Images from Trygghamna

By Joe // Saturday 15 Sep // 09:10:18 // View

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Going ashore at Trygghamna.

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Suba ashore at Trygghamna, in front of the Noorderlicht.

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Bay of Trygghamna

By Keith // Saturday 15 Sep // 06:30:10 // View

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Anchored deep within the bay of Trygghamna, hugging the western shoreline about 200-300m offshore. Jozef, the student from the north of England and I were the first on deck. Incredibly peaceful, with clear skies and the waters around us reflecting the mountains with almost black mirror clarity.

Jozef spotted an adult reindeer on the shoreline. Though he is hard to see against the barren backdrop, he remains adjacent to the ships mooring. Others are now starting to get up and take photos of our first big sighting.

After breakfast we are going on shore for a walk around part of the bay with our guide Christian. We need to jump into an inflatable Zodiac to get from the Noordelicht to the shore, which will only carry 8 of us at a time. Christian will carry a gun, in the unlikely event of us meeting a hungry Polar Bear.

Around lunchtime we journey north to Ny-Alesund, a 20 hr journey along the West coast of Spitsbergen. A 3 hour watch has been organised to keep an eye out for wild life and any dangers. Everyone gets to do at least one night shift.

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Short, fat, raindeer

By Doriana // Saturday 15 Sep // 02:45:18 // View

Good Morning, this Morning We Saw A Short, Fat, Raindeer, It Was Only One; I Didn’t Feel Like Shooting It, Because It Looked To Small.

We Just Came From A Long Walk, It Wasn’t Too Bad. We Saw a Old Dead Fox, And A Dead Reindeer, It Looked Young, And We Saw Lots Of Birds Too, But They Were Far. When We Got Back, We Ended Up Seeing A Nanuq, Everybody Went Crazy!, But It Was Really Far And It Seemed Like It Was Following The Way We Walked..

Theres This Guy Who Can Inuktuuq, He Said He Lived in Greenland For Whatever Many Years,, So Now I Don’t Feel So Left Out, Because Before We Got On The Ship Everybody Else Had Someone To Talk To In Their Own Language, But now I’m

Good?f0

11:32pm
I Have A Look Out Shift At 2 In The Morning Till 4, Just A 2 Hour Shift, But, Yay! I get To Stay Up With The People Back Home. Remember I’m, 7 hours A Head.. The Rest Of Today, We Hardly Did Anything, But We Did Put The Sails Up, It Was Fun, And Hard Work, And It Help Us Stay Warm, Duh. The Temp, I Like Plus 1, So It’s Not Cloudy At All.. Most Of The Peeps Say their Dying…lmao, In Plus ONE!. I Don’t Really Know What To Talk About Now.. Good Day Mates.:D

4:04am
Just Finished My Shift, I Kept Falling Asleep. There Was This Nauyajuaq That Kept Going Around The Ship, It Looked Like It Wanted to Attempt A Landing, but When It Got Close Enough, It Would Just Turn Around And Kept Coming Back, It Even Got Creepy..
Going To Bed. So Long Suckers.

B

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