Landing on the east coast of Svalbard
Last night we decided to go south to circumnavigate Spitsbergen. It’s not an easy choice because the weather and the conditions in Storfjorden is very changeable so it’s a bit of a gamble
But in the morning we are sailing through the Heleysundet with a little bit of tidal current against us. In the narrowest part M/S Stockholm is only making 1,2knots forward! But slack tide is coming and then we will fly through the sound.
Here the cliffs and the rocky islands are barren. Almost no snow left. A lot Northern Fulmar and Kittiwakes are diving for food in the turbulent water.
After the exiting rafting in the Heleysundet we sail to Boltodden. For once its good enough conditions there to land so we launch the Zodiacs and go ashore on a small beach that is flat but only consists of limestone rock.
On Boltodden the whole area is old, exposed rock from the epoch of Crite/Jura and we are on a special hunt here. We know that somewhere on the shoreline there is a flat rock with footprints of a dinosaur that walked here and the footprints are preserved for the last 65 million years.
Our whole little gang spread out on the beach and after a short while we find the footprints. Its three marks in the old rock that almost looks like giant bird feet. It’s fascinating thinking of the animal that took these steps in a very different time.
Further up on the tundra we discover a small meltwater pond where red throated diver, purple sandpiper and eider are all looking for food with their chicks. Even a pair of Arctic skua are nesting nearby.
Back on M/S Stockholm we have a perfect dinner to end a perfect polar day!
Please note: We always follow strict wildlife guidelines to ensure that we do not cause any disturbance.
Magnus DanboltGuide och Expeditionsledare
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.