Grey

We did an early landing to check out more ruins related to arctic expeditions in Mosselbukta. This is the place where Nordenskiöld had to spend the winter in 1872–1873. There was very little wind, but it was snowing, so it feels even more lucky to have had sunshine yesterday with the polar bears!

Then we continued west to Mushamna. Before going ashore, we checked out a small lagoon where I finally got a picture of a little auk (funny side story, when I was first told that it was an auk, I heard it as “orc” and thought, how is Tolkien related to these birds…).

We had a closer look at an old hunting cabin, this one is actually still standing up and it’s even in use sometimes. There’s even a small sauna next to it, and the biggest luxury of all – an outhouse with a heating system! The tall construction you see in the picture below is a platform for storing meat. It’s supposed to be polar bear proof, but we heard a (true!) story of a female bear with two cubs, who found a way to get to the meat. One cub was standing on its mom and the second cub used them as a ladder to climb up, and then dropped the meat down. Clever bears!

Before going back to the zodiak, we paused at the beach for a quiet moment. It was amazing, such a peaceful place with the calm waters and the gentle sound of eider ducks calling in the distance.

In the afternoon we did a cruise in Fuglefjorden. There is lots of ice floating in the water with dramatic mountains on both sides and some low clouds shrouding the highest peaks. And we got lucky to see a bearded seal on an ice float!

With the grey skies and calm waters, it became a day with a lot of grey hues. I’ve rarely seen a landscape reduced to its basics like that, and it was amazing just to look at the horizon which you could barely even distinguish with one shade of grey turning into another. With this luck we have with the weather, Svalbard is looking more beautiful and more stunning for every day that goes by!

Nordenskiöld's house
What is left of Nordenskiöld’s house. There’s a law in Svalbard that says that all cultural remains from before 1945 must be left as is – you can’t even touch them!
Driftwood and junk washed on the shores
Driftwood and junk washed on the shores however, you can touch. And you’re encouraged to remove the junk!
Little orc. Auk!
Little orc. Auk!
M/S Stockholm in calm waters
M/S Stockholm in calm waters
Remains
Remains
Trapper's cabin with a meat platform
Trapper’s cabin with a meat platform on the right
Dog sleds
Dog sleds
Eiders in the grey
Eiders in the grey
Peaceful
Peaceful
Fuglefjorden
Fuglefjorden
Bearded seal
Bearded seal
Out from Fuglefjorden
Out from Fuglefjorden
Dramatic mountains
Dramatic mountains

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