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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

    just stepped in now Cecelia,but what a great trip this must been.
    couldend the shoot in the sky for a wakeup call for the polar bear?
    and than those walrussen nearby,must be just as special as when a whale or dolphin shows up

    and what a great great sunset,maybe i have to go on a trip sometime.
    best regards Thijs

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      Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

      Just a pause (as the ship heads south and the pace of the voyage changes)…Sterkoder, we are leaving Spitsbergen but I have a LOT of other images from there to show you later, I promise. And janihudi, you have so often told us you are the least “holiday person” imaginable, but here you are with your “maybe…trip…sometime…!!!" . You are right about those walruses by the way. It was unforgettable when they appeared right by the bow of the ship, and not even the many close encounters with whales in Antarctica, or my slightly more active Greenland polar bear, seemed quite as special as that. And Sarnia – your comment brought tears to my eyes just as my pictures had to yours.

      I’m beyond succeeding in keeping up individually with you all who have commented here, so thank you ALL, Tommi, Ralf, Fjordtroll, Keelson, toilapol, Steve B, PoloUK, yvneac…. In mails and messages and on Facebook many more have been in touch, and have touched me with their responses. I happened to notice this morning that here on CVF, Nordstjernen’s thread exceeded 100,000 views (…and counting as they say), not meaningful in absolute terms with robot searches and such of course, but notable relative to other similar ship threads. But then this Lady is so special a ship…

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        Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

        Sweet Lady C--just love all these photos!!! They are making me smile SOOO MUCH!

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          Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

          Originally posted by ehp View Post
          ....They are making me smile SOOO MUCH!
          Awww Lady E! The occasional tear appropriate for a last voyage is also allowed! Although I did take some “make-E-smile” photos especially for you, they are not ones appropriate for this nostalgic ship thread. So I have other plans for them and am going to make you W-A-I-T….!!!! [insert cruel/torture smiley here!!!!]

          But you popped up in this thread with perfect timing…
          …here comes an AT SEA DAY!!!!! I know y'all luv ’em’!!!!!

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            Bear Island, Friday 24th August 2012

            Bear Island, or Bjørnøya in Norwegian, is officially part of the Svalbard archipelago, but feels totally remote, situated as it is approximately half way between the southern tip of Spitsbergen and the North Cape of the Norwegian mainland.

            This immediately calls for a map, but NOT of the kind where Svalbard exists in a little box stuck in the convenient blank expanse of blue somewhere to the left between Trondheim and Tromsø!!



            We would not sight Bear Island until the afternoon of this “at sea” day, and the North Cape at around breakfast time the following morning before arriving in Honningsvåg.

            It’s the same as crossing the Drake Passage on a voyage from South America to Antarctica –no amount of looking at even the “right kind of map” or knowing exact figures of distances involved quite gives the true feeling of having travelled across the surface of the globe as one gets at the pace of a sea voyage.

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              I had been a little concerned for cabin-mate about the crossing of such an open stretch of ocean on a small traditional ship, but needlessly so –the Vestfjord was actually to provide somewhat heavier seas.
              More motion on the first of this two-night crossing perhaps, for that was when I slept the soundest in my rocking cradle of a bunk. (Even now after two weeks at home I am not sleeping at all well in comparison!).

              Looking through my photos from the Friday morning, I seem to have spent a lot of time alone down on C deck, feeling the spray and watching the waves – immensely pleasurable but not the most spectacular of seas.


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                  I think a few of the passengers (“guests” I should say), cabin-mate included, maybe missed having lectures that day such as one would have had aboard Fram on an Explorer cruise. Others had already slipped into the pace of the coastal voyage to come and were reading and relaxing in the lounges, though would just as easily re-adapt later to a more active cruise-like regime of whole day port excursions.



                  But after lunch it was not only the smokers and bird watchers out on deck as Nordstjernen neared Bear Island.

                  The buildings and masts of the meteorological and radio station could be seen on the near shore. Their personnel are today the island’s only inhabitants. Despite hunting, fishing, whaling and mining activities through historical times, and the strategic importance of the location, no settlements remain and since 2002 most of the island has been a nature reserve.

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                    I love this image. The low lying north coast of the island increasingly filled the horizon, while a window in the cloud revealed the profile of higher ground beyond.

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                      Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                      Does anyone know how to access the Svalbard documentary from NRK tonight outside of Norway?

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                        Thrilled to be here, to see this remote place hitherto a mere dot on the map, I could not have been happier.


                        (Photo taken by D. Taylor)

                        But this was just the beginning, as the ship rounded the northwest corner of the island to reveal the cliffs and sea-stacks in the distance.

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                          Slowly we headed towards and then along the shore, and it did not require a passion for geology to be fascinated by the rock formations that we passed.

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                                The Captain did us proud that afternoon, approaching the highest cliffs and skilfully navigating between the sea stacks, and as we rounded each cape, yet more wonders awaited us.

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