Journey to the North

June 11th.

My brother’s birthday. Happy birthday Little Jim.

WARNING! Photographs from plane windows.

Yesterday I set off from Plumpton Station with all my kit – it added up to rather a lot in the end.

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England looked particularly beautiful as we flew out of Heathrow.IMG_0297.JPG

After hours of sitting on the plane flying over thick cloud, the weather suddenly cleared and I could see the Islands we were flying over.

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It got more and more snowy and beautiful, I have hundreds of pictures but I’ll try not to bore everyone to death.

The sea was so clear I could see right down to the base of the islands and the clouds and snow reflected off the water. After a while there were fewer islands and more clear, navy blue sea with specks of white; some bits of white were flecks of foam, white horses blown by the wind on the waves. Some specks of white were more solid.

I realised we were flying over icebergs!

Soon there were thousands of icebergs beneath us swirling into amazing patterns in the ocean currents.

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This looks like a cloud but it is millions of little icebergs floating on the sea. The next picture is when we were approaching Svalbard, you can see the snowy land and the ice shelf reaching out into the sea. In the middle of the two mountains there is a massive glacier, a river of compressed ice and snow slowly flowing down to the water. I’m not sure where this is exactly but hopefully we can sail by in the boat and see it from sea level.ice shelf.JPG

I have had some messages from the Arctic Adventure Gang!

Alfie, sadly I am not going to see a Snow Leopard as they don’t live here. I think that by a snow whale you might mean a Beluga whale. They are the white ones.

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Image from NNOA fisheries

Well, I have heard that the captain of the ship Antigua, who I will meet tomorrow, is a big fan of whales. He knows the places they like to go and he wants to see them, so I think that if there are any around then we have quite a good chance of seeing them. I’ll keep you posted!

Fin and Jake, the first animal I saw when I got here was a husky. And guess what he was doing.

He was pulling a boy on a scooter!

The dog’s harness was tied on to the pole of the scooter and they were going really fast down the bumpy lane outside the place where I am staying. It looked really dangerous and fun.

Lots of people here have retired sled dogs as pets. They are such strong animals that the people have special belts with metal hoops on, which they clip the dog’s leads onto so their arms don’t get stretched with the dogs pulling.

I have also seen quite a few Svalbard Reindeer. They are white with very short legs.

This evening I met all 30 people who will be on the ship Antigua with me. We went and had a delicious picnic on the beach, it was 8.30pm and the sun was as high in the sky and as strong as it had been all day long.

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At the picnic I met Nemo who is the Husky belonging to Sara, he will be coming sailing with us. I hope he will help to guard us from polar bears.

Tomorrow we set sail. I won’t have any internet for a couple of weeks but I shall write down everything to tell you when I get back.

(Everyone else has packed their swimming costume. I said ‘Oh no, I forgot mine.’ But “luckily” there is a shop just down the road which sells them, or you just go nudie. So the biggest threat to life and limb is now me plunging into Arctic Waters and never regaining use of my fingers).

2 thoughts on “Journey to the North”

  1. Oh my gosh B are you really going to swim in the artic sea!??? I got in in Bournemouth yesterday, in a wetsuit, & it was far too cold for me!! You are very very brave.

    The journey so far looks amazing & inspiring!! Will be thinking of you on your tall ship sailing through the icebergs!
    Enjoy!
    Lizzie x x x

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  2. Dear B
    Thank you so much for telling us about your adventure so far, they sound amazing. We loved hearing about the boy and the husky dog! We think it’s a good idea to buy a costume – fin says he wouldn’t go nudie and doesn’t think you should either (love the idea of you swimming in the arctic hee hee!).
    Will you be eating lots of fish on the boat? (Finlay)
    What will you be doing mostly on the ship? (Jake)
    Have a really fun time.

    Jake and and Fin xx

    Like

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