Monday, 4 August 2014

Sun and Clear Skies - another Day in Paradise...

Svalbard has truly shown it self from its best side today. We were sailing to the end of Freemandstredet – a narrow straight between Barentsøya and Edgeøya. Those who chose to sleep outside on deck  underneath the midnight sun woke up to clear skies, the sun warming in their faces and polar bear spotting before breakfast. 
We had a landing at Sundneset on Barentsøya. The grounds were covered with dark basaltic rocks with bright green vegetation in between. Flowers hasn't been a common sight this far on the trip but here the grounds were covered with yellow flowers – the Yellow Marsh Saxifrage. Sundneset had a lot to offer and we weren't the only ones that were out enjoying the sun. Both reindeers and a polar bear greeted us with their presence. On the top of the little mountain a svalbard rock ptarmigan had made a nest for her 5 chickens who were just learning how to walk. A polar fox was lurking under the mountain and  probably wondering if we were going to steal its food. The walk went around a small lake that housed a colony of barnacle geese and down to an old cabin. Sundneset showed us that it is more to the Arctic than just polar bears, glaciers and mighty mountains. It is also colorful flowers, rich birdlife, polar foxes and culture. 
In the evening lectures and realaxing in the sun on deck were on the menu. As a dessert the crew had prepared a fashion show. Some of the guides on the expedition team had clearly underestimated their modeling skills, but they still managed to make an impression as the crowd were cheering and laughing. After a long and exiting day bedtime arrived at Fram as well, even though you really couldn't tell because the sun, the midnight sun, was still shining.