Saturday, 20 July 2013

Jan Mayen

After all the fog yesterday, this morning the sun and a clear horizon welcomed us when we got up. Nevertheless life appeared slowly today. Maybe because of another hour of time change – a "lost" hour – last night.

But then all of a sudden there was a lot of chatting onboard. Our Chinese guests were eagerly awaiting our first landing: Jan Mayen.

Steffen gave an introduction to the volcanic island, and when the passengers saw the first few photographs of erupting volcanoes they were a kind of cheerful.

Jan Mayen is regarded being active, even though there are no eruptions at the moment, giving us the chance for a landing. Which is in general a rare event, to be able to land on Jan Mayen.

When we came closer it turned out that the East coast showed too much swell for small boats. So we chose plan B which was at landing at the western side at Walrus Bay.

The head of the Norwegian Station on Jan Mayen had been driving over to our landing site to welcome us very friendly.

From a hill and a ridge behind the bay and a few Norwegian shelter buildings there was a great view on this volcanic landscape. Volcanic ashes all over the place. But since the last eruption dates back to the 70s there were also extended green areas with moss and grass and some flowering plants. From time to time all this disappeared in dense very low clouds that were blown across the bay. That way we didn't get to see the highest volcano of the island, named Beerenberg, which is 2277 m high.

Still, we had an afternoon with lots of fascinating impressions. Including lots of Fulmars and Puffins, that were nesting on a cliff and a high slope above the bay.

After four hours we left to head for Svalbard.