31th of Oktober Ship's dog IJsbrand
In October Ship's dog IJsbrand passed away in her homeport Muiden
She started her career as a Ship's dog on Noorderlicht in Las Palmas de Cran Canaria, in 1996
IJsbrand got famous in Spitsbergen when she chased away a Polar bear which came close to the frozen-in ship
She reached the age of seventeen
11 Septemer After a nice flight we arrived in Longyearbyen and boarded "de Noorderlicht". Quick time everyone - all different nationalities – but we were soon speaking to each other. We were given beautiful cabins and soon started our adventure.
We saw our first Minké just out of Longyearbyen! Expectations were naturally high. The second day we raised the sails. What an event for those who were on their first sailing experience! We saw several seals, whales, walruses,... Unfortunately we didn't have much luck with spotting polar bears (only two sightings and one of them dead from starvation), but you can't force nature...
Panoramic views of all the Islands were amazing, and a spectacular walk followed every landing with the zodiac. Watching and being so close to nature, particularly glaciers, ... takes your breath away. We were happily surprised to watch the first northern lights towards the end of the voyage!
Luckily for us, but perhaps unfortunate for nature, we had perfect weather. The unusually higher temperatures were probably indicative of climate change in the Arctic. For the time of the year one should expect temperatures under zero, but instead it was quiet warm...
After a 10-day trip we were able to travel home with a perfect feeling of satisfaction, lots of memories, nice Svalbard stories and new friends! Perfecto mundo!!!
Els Bart. Belgium.