Friday, June 22, 2007

Svalbard Summer Solstice Glaciar Excursion

June 22, Day 6 on Svalbard

The sun is now at its highest point in the sky for the year and in keeping with the midnight sun theme of our trip to Svalbard, today's main activity is an evening boat trip to the "nearby" glacial bay of Billefjord. So the first half of the day was quite relaxed, Johan and I spent some time in the harbor of Longyearbyen photographing the arctic terns who were just starting the courtship activities.

Male terns were catching krill along the shore and then offering their catch to the female who all the while sat perched on a rock on the shore. After a few hours of this the females were not able to eat another bite and just let the meal drop to the ground, after which the male would once again go and retrieve another tiny shrimp...

At 8:30 PM we met up with our guide Jasper Doest and suited up for the boat trip. There are numerous guides that make this trip from the local harbor and I think they are all quite competent. We were provided with insulated flotation suits just in case. At 9:00 PM we were underway and began the 20 km trip. The crossing took about 90 minutes and we passed numerous bird cliffs filled with guillemot, petrels and puffins on the way.
Johan waiting for something to fly by.

Once in the bay we slowed down and looked at the various ice formations, birds and seals...


You can see how fractured the ice is and there was some calving going on, but we never seemed to be fast enough to catch it on film.

As we cruised around the bay we enjoyed a hot meal that our guide had brought along. Midnight dining in a glacial harbor, the view was spectacular and thankfully since there were no winds the temperature was quite comfortable.

2:00AM we were back in the harbor of Longyearbyen, greeting by the local welcoming committee. Another wild and crazy night in the midnight sun.

1 comment:

  1. Snygga bilder som vanligt.Men timingen i #2...Här snackar vi fullträff! / Deerhunter