Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Full Set: Bruceneset and Graveneset

This morning at 08:30 we landed at Bruceneset.  There was a fresh snowfall.  At sea level it was hardly more than a dusting of snow but higher up everything was covered in a blanket of white.  Along with the snow, as one would expect, there was a bit of a bite to the morning air. It was -1°C.  We are very high in the Arctic. 79˚ 44’ N.  Our weather reflects that fact.

Once on shore, the Expedition Team established a perimeter within which we were free to wander.
Right beside the landing site stood a small trapper’s hut.  It turned out that the hut was open.  Many of us poked our heads inside. Hm. Cosy for one. Two's a crowd.

Not far from the hut is a very old grave, probably the grave of a whaler. It seemed a cold and lonely place to end your days.

Bruceneset left a strong impression on our minds.  The severe landscape, the whaler’s grave and the onset of winter combined to remind us of the harsh nature of life in the Arctic. 

Our next landing was scheduled for 16:00 at Graveneset in Magdalena Fjord.  As usual, sea time gives us an opportunity to put on our lecture program. We had several lectures in the afternoon.

We arrived at Graveneset right on time. Today the hike was divided into two groups.  The first group would have an emphasis on covering as much ground as possible in three hours.  They  were designated the fast group.  Their aim was to see what there was to see and to get some really great exercise at the same time.  A second group was also going hiking but theirs was to be a moderate pace.  They would have plenty of time to photograph, admire the scenery and to learn about the region.  It turned out that both groups had lots of time to hike right onto Gully Glacier.

As we were engaged in hiking, others had opted to go touring in sea kayaks. Although the temperature was hovering around the freezing point, the kayakers were nice and warm in the top notch gear that was provided to them by Fram.

Meanwhile, those that chose to remain near the landing site had the pleasure of a guided historic walk that investigated the various artifacts left over from the whalers.

Lots of people went for a frigid swim at the end of the landing.  Yikes!!!  I'm sure the sauna was very busy back on board Fram when we lifted anchor.

In the evening the crew put on a high energy show for everyone in the observation lounge.  There was lots of singing, dancing and even juggling!  A good time was had by all!