Sunday, 21 September 2014

Our last day in Svalbard has come!

We spent our morning on a very nice beach on Bear Island- Bjørnøya in Norwegian, the southernmost tip of Svalbard in the middle of the Barents Sea. The island was discovered (documented) by the Dutch explorers William Barentz and Jacob van Heemskerk in 1596, but for sure the Vikings knew about the island already. We had strong wind and snow showers during the morning, but the bay was quite sheltered and so we could enjoy our time onshore. Next to the beach we had a wonderful bird cliff where lots of Northern Fulmars were still sitting on their nests at the end of the breeding period. We could easily watch them interacting, calling and flying in and out of the colony. Bear Island is very famous for all different kind of sea birds like Kittiwakes and Guillimots and others. The Island is an Nature reserve since 2002, but we came a bit late in the season so that most birds had left their colony already.

The weather has been very impressive. Heavy snow showers chanced with clear blue sky and sunshine. On our way back we had the possibility for a short PolarCircleBoat cruise along the coast before we had to say “good bye” to Svalbard.

The afternoon we spent on board on our way to Norway. Lectures, given by our Lecture staff and our board photographer, gave us again more information about everything we have seen or we will see in Norway. We are already looking forward to our next destinations.

Tomorrow we will reach Tromsø and our Greenlandic staff member Aka has to leave the ship after she has been such an unbelievable help for us especially when we cruised in Greenland. She put her feelings and experiences she got here on board in a nice poem. Read it and enjoy it.

Chilly fall gratitude

by Aka S. Bendtsen, Expedition Team member.

Early morning in the fjords
Mountains use the seamirror
with their white glacier-coat to look cool

Look out the window
Fresh clear air
Or snow, wind and fog
Bright white  icebergs sailing by
Different colored striped mountains we pass by

Get dressed warmly
Get the equipment ready
Before every landing we have to do
Before time passes by

The ground has its fall colours
Not much snow yet
Night frost though

The fox is not white yet
The geese are not gone yet
The bearded seals are laying on icefloes
The polarbear track now and then on the ground
The polarbear is hiding from us
We see a glimpse of it though

The huts can still be entered
without shifting the snow yet
The ground is dangerously slippery though

Svalbard /Spitsbergen mit der spitze Berge
Already winter with snowy winterstorms
With birdcliffs and long glacier fronts

Northern lights will play
up in the sky where ever you go up north
Only if the skies let you though

I thank you Fram
for the  new journeys
Adventures whereever you go
With friends we call colleagues.
To see nice new places
We have to say goodbye sometimes to you though

That´s a glimpse of an adventurous life of a chilly fall on-board with Fram expedition.
A glad one.
With gratitude.