March/April 14

1 st of April 2014

Sunshine and Frost smoke, what a beautiful day!
(Frost smoke is frog-like cloud due to contact of cold air with relatively warm water)

The scooter guests coming in yesterdayday evening were so lucky to spot a Polar bear during their trip.
Today they continued the trip, with Mikael as their guide, to Is fjord Radio.

The trip with the master sudents from UNIS went very well last week.
The visibility was very good, and we were able to see all the mountainsides they needed to observe for their geology studies.
First we passed Grumantbyenmountainside, and then crossed over to Trygghamna at the north side of Isfjorden.
Some rough seas when we crossed the fjord...
From there we sailed into Ymerbukta, and anchored for the night in Borebukta.
The next morning we started at Mediumfjellet in Yoldiabukta. The last mountainside we checked out was in Billefjorden.
And then the snow started to fall, the visibility was gone. What timing!

Tomorrow we will head towards Billefjorden.

Soon to be expected:
The official, one and only, Noorderlicht Facebookpage!!

20 th of March  Ship without Ice..

Too little ice to freeze in this winter, a Ship without Ice.

We tried to get permission from the Governor of Svalbard to change our position in Tempelfjorden much deeper in the fjord, but unfortunately our request was refused.

February has been 15 degrees warmer than average and the pack ice border is even up to 82 degrees north, never shown before at the end of March.

The ship is moored now at the floating peer in Longyearbyen, with the good view of Hiorthfjellet and Adventfjorden.
Today the whole area got a fresh 30 cm layer of snow!

Basecamp back office gives a lot of effort to work out the alternatives programs for the guests.

Luckily we still meet a lot of our guests at the ship in the harbour for dinner and overnight, after they have been snow scootering or dog sledging. And really, they come from all over the world: Australia, Bahamas, India, Italy, China etc.

Also Base camp’s Isfjord Radio is used as a very good alternative trip on snow scooter.This is a Radio Station from 1933, beautiful located on the west coast of Spitsbergen.

By the way: Isfjord Radio was used for three weeks in February and March for shooting a movie.
When the filming was done, with Noorderlicht we sailed out there, to pick up all the film equipment and a part of the film crew.
On this trip our two Alaskan husky puppies showed that they were sea and storm proof.
As the weather was quite rough on the way back to Longyearbyen, they were playing and sleeping as normal.
Their names Matroos and Stuurman (Sailor and Mate) fits them well!

Also some sailing trips are part of our alternative program.
Tomorrow we will head out to the northern part of Isfjorden with a group of Geologist students from UNIS Longyearbyen.
I will update you soon about this trip!

2 Th March From plan B to Plan C

Last Tuesday we found ourselves a very nice inlet on the ice edge in Tempelfjorden, almost five kilometers more inward than we used to be.
A good alternative to receive our guests on Wednesday evening. We thought.

Wednesday started so beautiful and it was so nice to enjoy the good view of Tempelfjorden.
But half an hour later strong Westerly winds came in, much stronger than forecasted.
The ice around us broke away, and so plan B was gone....

Next option was heading for the quay in Barents burg, and so we did.
It took some hours, as the Westerly winds and swell gave us a hard time.
The small mining town looked beautiful in the white snow and evening light, we moored the ship at the snow-covered quay
At nine o clock we could see the first scooter lights of our guests arriving.
A lot of Dutch guests among them, and hungry as they were, we enjoyed dinner altogether.

The next day the weather was clear and beautiful. Both the ship and the snow scooters
had a smooth trip back to Longyearbyen.
The mountains around us colored in a beautiful pink and purple light..