Monday, 9 September 2013

Huts in the middle of nowhere!

The morning started with a breathtaking sunrise over the snow covered mountains in the National Park. Our first landing was planned in Hvalrosodden. The name was given in 1906 by the Denmark expedition when they shot 11 walrus here as they needed the meat for the dogs. Our expedition team went at shore at 8:00h and as they did not find a Polar bear or anything else that could be dangerous for us we could land shortly afterwards. We had time enough to stretch our legs on a little hike and to explore the two huts you can find at this place. The bigger hut was built in 1919 by the East Greenland Company and was in use by trappers until the 1960s. The second hut, a very small one, belonged to Alwin Pedersen. He has been the zoologist during the Mørkefjord expedition under Eigil Knuth in the 1920s. He was one of the first who wished the protection of the wildlife in this region. In 1974 his dream came true when the North East Greenland National park was established.

During lunch we sailed with FRAM further into Mørkefjord. And here we found him, the king of the Arctic, our first Polar bear. Most of us expected to see a Polar bear on the ice, but this was walking along the hill, next to the shore line. Now we know the “white teddies” are still there; and of course we still hope to see more of them.

Our daily program said that we should cruise with FRAM in Dove Bay during the afternoon. But our expedition leader Anja had a nice surprise for us. In a little bay with some huge icebergs we could join a PolarCircel boat cruise. It was fantastic to see the icebergs directly from the sea-level.

After a delicious dinner we enjoyed the view over the landscape from the Observation lounge, but most of us went to bed early. The next morning landing will be early again and the days are always so full of new impressions that we are really tired in the evening.