Day 7 |
Aug 28, 2011

Jan Mayen, Svalbard, Norway  

By Franz Bairlein, Ornithologist

Coordinates (08:00): 75°18’ 38’’N, 03°49’45’’E
Weather: cloudy, partly sunny, moderate wind
Air temperature: 3.7°C
Air pressure: 1007 hPa
Wind: 30 km/h; 80 degree

In a relatively calm sea and under a partly sunny sky the Silver Explorer sailed southwest with 13 knots. A few fulmars joined the vessel.

After breakfast with Expedition Team members while chatting a bit about invasive species and climate change fingerprints, I joined the lecture of our glaciologist Luciano Bernacchi where he told about how glaciers being formed, how they behave, and were on earth we can find glaciers.

After having lunch with guests from Australia, I was out on Deck 6 watching out for birds and whales. I failed with the latter, but several fulmars and two kittiwakes followed the vessel.

At 14:30 I attended the lecture of our botanist Hans-Peter Reinthaler about food webs in the Arctic, which are more complicated than they may look like from a polar bear perspective. Without the tiny plankton, neither whales, walruses nor polar bears would be able to exist.

At 15:31 and 74°01’13’’N we crossed the Greenwich meridian, dividing eastern from western longitudes, at calm sea but under complete overcast.

Thereafter, I worked on my tomorrow’s lecture about the birds we have seen when circumnavigating Spitsbergen.

At 17:00 I was listening to the lecture of our historian Peter Damisch about the famous Andree expedition. Andree and his two-man crew aimed to fly to the North Pole in a balloon but failed and got stranded on the Svalbard island of Kvitoya where the were found accidentally 33 years later. But the cold preserved not only their bodies but Andree’s logbook and even photographs as well.

Prior to the Venetian Dinner we met with the many repeat guests of Silversea Cruises, the Venetian Society, for a cocktail party in The Theatre. And with the always-nice Venetian Dinner, a relaxing day at sea came to an end while Silver Explorer sailed southwest in calm sea, en route to Jan Mayen.