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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    Perhaps an annotated version might help!…



    One bear was seen to occasionally raise its head. The ship stayed and we waited and watched, and although the bears stayed resolutely still, (unlike the one I saw from Fram in Greenland), it was wonderful nevertheless.
    Did I eventually return indoors to finish my desert? – I don’t even remember –that’s how special the experience of encountering the polar bears was.

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      Later I hope to have GPS tracks for you, but for now here’s a map that our guides had enthusiastically updated to show Location Isbjørn! As you can see, Nordstjernen had been skirting the north coast of Spitsbergen before entering Woodfjorden. Now we would head north once more, towards the island of Moffen.

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        We are all already in upbeat mood after the polar bear sighting, and soon there is more cause for celebration! At a few seconds after 20:36 UTC (22:36 local time) we crossed the line 80° North.

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          Even cabin-mate was up and particularly active. King Neptune thankfully kept away, and we were spared the ice cubes down our necks as reminder of having been so far north that a mere arctic circle crossing some days later felt like the exotic south! Perhaps Neptune had noticed that he had some competition in the beard department!





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            It must have been a special end of summer moment for the wonderful Spitsbergen travel team, as they gathered on the steps above the aft deck and we raised our glasses in a toast. Skål!




            Ummm, put your glass down for a moment, and some off-duty Troll is sure to claim it!

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              There was another treat in store before this day of delights came to an end. On my 1999 Svalbard visit I hadn’t reached Moffen Nature Reserve – the ship having to about-turn during the night in stormy weather. Now I was standing up on the bridge wing of Nordstjernen looking down at the island, just a few square kilometres of gravel and sand that scarcely rises above sea level. There they were, the famous walruses, the colony now thriving here after overexploitation for ivory in earlier times.

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                  I glanced through the window of the bridge, and took “a penny for your thoughts” kind of portrait of the Captain. Perhaps he was musing, as I was, if Nordstjernen would ever return to walrus island.




                  The pensive mood soon passed, some mischief was clearly in the planning.

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                    Ship’s crew, gathering centre stage for a rousing chorus of a walrus song!

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                        The serenading of the Friends of Moffen seemed to charm more than merely us guests on board Nordstjernen, for suddenly there were some walruses … right next to the ship!

                        In the next installment:- Ny-Ålesund: from mining settlement to international research centre.

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                          Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                          Pretty cool stuff you're posting Cecilia. It's a pleasure to follow your pedagogic trip reports.

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                            Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                            Good work, Cecilia!!

                            Continue to take great photos!
                            Last edited by Joakim; September 12th, 2012, 02:07.

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                              Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                              Originally posted by Seagull View Post


                              This picture made my morning!! If the bear wouldn't have moved his head, it could have been a permanent installment. Maybe a possibility for the future, when global warming has erased the living environment of the polar bears. Wonderful that you made it North of 80°. And of course nobody of the crew would have been competitive with D as artificial Neptune. They should have asked him to play this role!
                              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                                Blessings before breakfast, Thursday 23rd August 2012

                                Early morning aboard Nordstjernen. Against the mountains, below the clearing clouds, a patch of snow that looks like a seagull in flight. It’s going to be a good day.



                                What was it I said about this instalment at the end of the last one? To imagine that I would conclude the visit to Ny-Ålesund was, to say the least, a trifle optimistic, for in fact I won’t even reach our disembarkation. There’s an instalment’s length of photos taken before breakfast that morning, and in this thread of the ship I know you won’t want to miss a single one of them.

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