The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust have awarded me a travel grant to go to Svalbard this June. I am very proud to be a Fellow as you can read here in the Brighton and Hove Independant, I intend to be a very good one.
After a lengthy application process I was offered a place on The Arctic Circle expedition, a ship full of international artists and scientists exploring the Spitsbergen archipelago.
Until I looked at this beautiful giant globe at the Greenwich Observatory I hadn’t appreciated exactly how far up top Svalbard really is. In June the top of the world will be tilted towards the sun and it will be light all the time.
I can’t imagine what this will be like but it sounds tiring. Time to go sleep mask shopping I think.
I thought that Svalbard would be like the North Pole in children’s books, all white and blue and covered in icing sugar snow, with clinking icebergs and frosted fur. On further investigation I have discovered that in June it will be boggy and brown and possibly raining.
There are loads of interesting places to explore, I’ll be able to see the land from the sea when I am on the ship and investigate further on foot. I will see old mines, weather stations, the seed bank, all sorts of ice features and hopefully plants and animals too.