Day 3 |
Aug 24, 2010

Bear Island and At Sea

By Dr Colleen Batey, Archaeologist


Coordinates: 75°32’N – 019°39’E
Weather: Low cloud and calm seas
Air temperature: 1°C

An early start for our first Zodiac exploration for this voyage. Bear Island, shrouded in mist was a wonderful spectacle – resembling a mysterious film set for the land that time forgot! With calm seas and relatively pleasant air temperature (just 1 degree C), all new guests were excited to go exploring. As the Zodiac drivers approached the towering sheer cliffs where several hundreds of kittiwakes, fulmars and glaucous gull dominated the ledges, a handful of comical black and white puffins rushed overhead, appearing to be constantly in a panic with their wings fluttering at alarming speeds. Christine was my driver today and she negotiated with great skill the narrow caves and arches that punctuated the coast. We passed by a Russian fishing vessel that had foundered on the rocky cliffs and was being broken up almost before our eyes. The power of nature is always awesome to see first hand.

Returning for a welcome lunch, we were then treated to a lecture on the History of Svalbard by our historian Christian before a full Recap & Briefing on our day. Many questions by our guests showed their eagerness and hopes are high for the coming days, despite the ice that is drifting fast from the north, fanned by the winds that had accompanied our previous journey around Svalbard.

The evening commenced with a cocktail party for our First Time travellers, and many anecdotes were traded from different parts of the world.

An excellent day with many more to follow!