Monday, 10 September 2012

A mosquito bay in the middle of the ice...

All our hope was focused on this day. Today we expected our first landing in the North East Greenland National Park after cruising along the ice edge for a longer time. And our dream came true. In the early morning we managed to land in “Myggbugta” (Mosquito bay), a very, very special historical place in the National Park.
As Greenland plays a significant role in the movement of global air masses in the Arctic and the North Atlantic, the Norwegian meteorologist have been interested in climate dates from Green since the beginning of the 20th century. So it does not wonder that the “Geofysiske Institutt” in Tromso asked Johan A Olsen, who planned a trapper expedition to North East Greenland 1922, to send meteorological dates from Greenland during this time.  Olsen got the equipment for the data measurement and 3.500 Norwegian kroner for the whole experiment. 
Olsen found a good place for his trapper expedition in the low lands on the north side of the Mackenzie Bay. As the place was pestered with mosquitoes, he called the place Myggbugta, that means in nothing else than Mosquito Bay. At the 1st of October 1922 Olsen sent his first dates to the “Geofysiske Institutt” in Tromso. These dates became the first wireless communication between Greenland and the rest of the world. In 1931 the place became famous again, as five trappers from the “Arctic Commercial Enterprise” claimed this area for the Norwegian king and hissed the Norwegian flag in Muggbugta at the 27th of June. This fact caused a strong discussion between Norway and Denmark, which had the sovereignty over Greenland. The problem ended up at the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague. At the end North East Greenland stayed with Denmark and the Norwegian dream of getting at least the East coast of Greenland came to an end. 
For us it was not only a historical landing. For us it was the first step into the North East Greenland National Park. We enjoyed the tundra, we saw musk ox fighting against each other and of course we enjoyed the landscape.
The afternoon we spent in the dense sea ice. As it was so sunny and we had no wind it was wonderful to stand on the open decks to watch the ice and to hear how FRAM made her way through the ice. It was an unforgettable afternoon.