Wednesday 8 August 2012

Alkhornet and Skansenbukta.

Alkhornet is a very characteristic landmark at the northern entrance of Isfjorden. It is also a well known bird cliff where few hundred of thousands of birds nest each year. Among the most abundant breeders in this cliff are the Kittiwakes, Brünnich’s Guillemots, Northern Fulmars and also a few hundred Puffins. Their guano fertilizes the soil creating good conditions for lush vegetation. An area rich in grass attracts reindeers and other vertebrates and always there are some grazing in the area. After lunch we had the Capitan farewell cocktail. Yes, our cruise is ending and soon it will be time to pack our luggage and say “good bye” to the Capitan, Officers, Expedition Team and all crew on board of MV Fram.
In the evening we had our last landing at Skansenbukta. This place is another example of wrong investment. In 1918, Dalen Portland Cementfabrikk from Bervik, Norway opened the mine hoping to extract gypsum. Instead they found a mineral named anhydrite and just after one season the mine was closed. In the 1930s, ship owner Kjøde reopened the mine and closed it again for the same reason as its predecessor. Our BBQ dinner was the last event of today. In two hours we’ll be in Longyearbyen. Now is definitely time to pack the luggage!