Changing ships

We have had some busy days up here in the north, including lots of helicopter flying, many polar bear observations, long stretches of sailing, and we have moved to another ship.

Fartøy ligger til kai

KV Svalbard at Kullkaia in Longyearbyen.
Photo: Magnus Andersen / Norwegian Polar Institute

Refuelling the helicopter

Refuelling the helicopter using a depot of pre-placed barrels at Negerdalen, on south Edgeøya.
Photo: Nick Cobbing

Polar bear

An identification picture made of a polar bear on Edgeøya. The identification photos are made to help researchers confirm the polar bear’s gender and age. Photo: Nick Cobbing

Two people looking at the chart table

Jon Aars and Magnus Andersen planning the day’s transects that will take place on Edgeøya.
Photo: Nick Cobbing

After a long period with fog along the ice edge we had to come up with a good plan for the rest of the cruise with RV Lance, to get the most of our time onboard.

The team working out of Longyearbyen were about to finish their work on Barents and Edgeøya, during the last day with a helicopter available, when bad weather prevented them from covering large parts of these important islands.

Our time onboard Lance was running out and we were sitting in fog, so we decided to sail south to Barents and Edgeøya in hope of a weather window before we had to return to Longyearbyen.

We arrived Freemansundet between the islands and were lucky enough to get just what we needed, flying conditions. During the next three days we in the air day and night, and were able to cover all transects before the weather again turned bad. On the islands we found a lot of bears, maybe even more than what we had expected. So, it was a tired but happy crew that sailed south of Sørkapp, Spitsbergen, heading towards Longyearbyen.

On the way north to Isfjorden we chose the outer route, along the shelf break where we observed a large number of whales. We arrived Longyearbyen in a fantastic summer weather, sun and nice temperatures out on deck, but we had little time to be relaxing in the sun, because we had one day to move our whole operation from RV Lance to the ship that again should take us up to the ice edge; the KV Svalbard.

After a short trip on land for some shopping, some phone calls, and checking e-mail or just to feel solid ground under our feet, we set out from Longyearbyen again. We headed north along the west coast of Spitsbergen and then into the ice at 82 degrees north and 15 degrees east.