Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Great place names: Gåshamna and Burgerbukta!

This morning we did a bit a rainy landing at Gåshamna, but what a beautiful place in Hornsund! Several Arctic skuas, Kittiwakes and Arctic terns were flying above the river plain and over our heads.

But not only birds were welcoming us, we met a lot of “history” on this place: Whalers, probably from England, left plenty of whalebones from bowhead whales. The Russian division of the Arc-de-Meridian expedition wintered there in 1899-1900, the remains of the astronomical observatory “Konstantinovka” are still visible and also a trapper hut from 1906 can be seen as our guide Line told us.

After an hour we were heading back to the boat - getting dry for the next landing in the afternoon, when we went to another spectacular place in Hornsund: Burgerbukta. As the fog lifted, we could see this bay which is surrounded by glaciers calving into the sea. Some of us hiked up the moraine and got a spectacular view over glaciers and surrounding colourful mountains. The kayakers went between big and small pieces of ice in front of the glaciers, listening to the arctic silence, hearing nothing than their own paddle stroke. 

Back on boat the Philipino crew prepared for us a marvelous buffet with specialities from their home country; but this was not the end of the day: in the Panorama Lounge we got to see the famous Crewshow. The Philipinos were singing, dancing and we even got a visit by the “Russian maids” – what good entertainment we had.