Eolusneset, Sorgfjorden - the bay of grief
Sorgfjorden is rich in historical remains and many stories about the whaling men who were active here in the 17th century are still told by many. Read an exciting post about when our travelers briefly got to travel in time during a visit to Eolusneset in Sorgfjorden.
These graves bear testimony to the dangers encountered by the fjord's earliest visitors. It is a difficult area for navigation, and many vessels have found themselves held by the drifting pack inside the fjord for longer than anticipated. Interestingly, this is also the site of what is likely to be the northernmost naval engagement in history, fought during the Nine Years’ War. In 1693 two French frigates patrolled the ice looking for enemies - Dutch, English or Hamburg (at that time a free imperial city) whaling vessels to sink or capture. They caught approximately 40 vessels inside Sorgfjorden and took 13 in total by the time the battle was done. The French were outnumbered in gun and sailors, but the whalers tired faster. Two of the Dutch vessels were burnt on site. A Dutch battery which fired some of the earliest shots was placed on the hill next to the gravesite pictured.
We spent the morning exploring the area on foot. You can also find some more seldom seen birds such as the red-throated diver, various waders and sometimes the grey phalarope here. We were also scanning the pack ice in the bay as there were many bear tracks along the shoreline, but there wasn't any bear in sight.
Since 1999, we have taken travellers on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Svalbard. From May to September our three small expedition ships, carrying only 12 and 50 passengers, explore this magnificent Arctic archipelago. Unpredictability and flexibility are the main keywords when you travel with PolarQuest as the exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encounters. Sometimes you might be woken up in the middle of the night if a polar bear has been spotted on the ice.