The biggest town in Svalbard is called Longyearbyen and this is where I stayed for a month after our expedition on the ship Antigua. With a population of about 2000 the old mining settlement of Longyearbyen sits in a valley at the foot of two glaciers. A string of wooden buildings on stilts leads to… Continue reading Longyearbyen in Colour
Back in May it was warm and cosy at the Natural History Museum when I hatched my 'Fossilised worms teeth' plan. The plan had seemed simple and exciting: Go sailing in the Arctic Sea. Land on the beach at a place called Kapp Belvedere. Walk up the river valley there. Extract Limestone rocks, 205 -500… Continue reading Expedition to Kapp Belvedere (Conodonts Part 2)
I was lucky enough to meet Lynne Quarmby, Professor or Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, during our Arctic Expedition aboard the Antigua. Lynne is investigating a type of Algae which makes snow and ice look green or pink. She showed us some beautiful videos of algae and explained how they can move about with appendages called… Continue reading Science on the ship.
Isbjorn is the Norwegian word for… Polar Bear! I saw a polar bear for the first time on the ice at Raudfjorden 79°49,2' N, 012°03,4' E. My camera is not very zoomy so I don’t have a very good picture to show you but it was amazing to watch this bear and two others. At the… Continue reading Isbjorn
The sea grew thicker with more and more bits of floating ice, grinding and scraping on the hull of the ship until we eventually reached the edge of the pack ice and could travel no further North. We stopped at 79°56,6’N 012°38,3E From here, all the way to the polar ice cap and the North… Continue reading Anchored to the ice.
79°37,0’N 011°29,3’E Smeerenburgbreen. Breen means glacier in Norwegian and it is a word I have been hearing a lot over the past month as I explore the Arctic islands of Svalbard. 60% of the land here is covered by glaciers, vast rivers of compressed ice and snow, which force their way through the landscape. Glaciers… Continue reading Smeerenburgbreen
Arctic Adventure Gang member Beth has got a question. She says: Are there butterflies in Svalbard? Sadly Beth, there is not a single butterfly here, and nor are there bees or beetles or spiders or snails. That is one of the things that feels strange when I go outside, nothing buzzes past your ear or… Continue reading Are there butterflies?
One of our group, Justin Levesque has a GPS tracker so you can see exactly where we are on our expedition. Click here to see. https://share.garmin.com/1dynamicsystem Arctic Adventure Gang... I don't yet know what I'm going to be doing all day and I think I might be eating some fish. I have bought a swimming… Continue reading Tracking
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. England looked particularly beautiful as we flew out of Heathrow. After hours of sitting on the plane flying over… Continue reading Journey to the North
This time next week I will be on a ship setting sail from Longyearbyen! There is a website called Marinetraffic where you can see the progress of the Antigua as we sail around the islands. Apparently the ice is still quite thick for this time of year so I don’t know how far North we… Continue reading Arctic Preparations.