Summer in Svalbard
PolarQuest´s guides blogs on board Sea Endurance. Here you can read an excerpt from Expedition Svalbard 22th July – 1st August 2016.
Hornsund is a big fjord on the south-western tip of Spitsbergen, branching out into manysmaller fiords. On Gnålodden – Whining Point – a huge bird cliff inhabited by guillemots and kittiwakes looms over an old trapper’s cabin once used by Svalbard’s first female trapper, Wanny Wolstad. A Tromsö taxi driver in the 1930’s, Wanny heard the trappers’ stories about life in the Arctic and got so enthralled that she had to go to Svalbard and try the trapper’s life herself. She did it with flying colours, and lived a trapper’s life for many seasons. We were blessed with blue skies and sunshine for the entire day, and before leaving Gnålodden a couple of us felt the urge to take a Polar Plunge on the beach. After lunch we made a Zodiac cruise in nearby Austre Burgerbukta. On an ice floe right next to the ship a bearded seal had parked itself, and approaching it in absolute silence we all got a very good look at it before we pursued our glacier cruise.
Coming back from the cruise, the word of this morning’s plunge had spread, and the gangway was rigged for another plunge. The majority of guests stayed on board, cameras raised, but a few brave souls took the plunge. Then, before dinner the regular recap, with information on tomorrow’s schedule and all, followed by the P/A announcement that the dinner’s being served. Only this time it was an Arctic barbeque. Served outside.
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 53 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.