Svalbard 2015 – Day 11: Finale

On the last full day of our seavoyage we set course down towards Isfjorden. Like on our way up, the weather around Forlandet is very rough, and the captain doesn’t want to go on the inside of the island (it’s very shallow at places). This means we won’t get to check Poolepynten for walrus either. While the sea is rough, at least this time we’re going with the wind and waves from behind us, but with the northbound trip fresh in my mind, I accept the offer of a good seasickness tablet and then head to bed. Before going to bed, I take a short video out of my cabins window while holding on as best I could.

I wake up a few times during the night from sounds of things crashing down and doors slamming, but otherwise sleep through the passage. When I wake up and open the door to my bathroom, I find the first aid kit in the toilet, toothpaste in the shower, and most of my other toiletries in the trashcan. I find out later I came away from it easy, some of the others had all of their luggage spread across the cabin floor.

The bridge of MS Origo

The bridge of MS Origo

We anchor up outside of the fjord Trygghamna (“Safe harbour”) which with its calm seas feel very appropriately named after our recent passage. We go ashore at the foot of Alkehornet, hoping to catch the first Guillemot chicks of the season jumping from their nesting places high up in the cliffs, trying to reach the sea.

While waiting for it to start raining chicks, we’re surrounded by Svalbard reindeer. Unfortunately they all seem to be molting, so the fur looks rather shabby.

Molting Svalbard reindeer at the foot of Alkhornet

Molting Svalbard reindeer at the foot of Alkhornet

Svalbard reindeer posing at the foot of Alkhornet.

Svalbard reindeer posing at the foot of Alkhornet.

After a while it becomes clear we’re too early for the chick exodus, so we head back to the ship. On my way I come across a Dunlin that’s happy to pose against a yellow mossy patch just as a little sunlight breaks through the clouds.

Dunlin posing in the marshes at the foot of Alkhornet.

Dunlin posing in the marshes at the foot of Alkhornet.

We continue past Adventfjorden to Hatten, where a family of Arctic fox cubs were recently spotted. I’m not feeling great, so I decide to not go ashore. According to the others it was a nice session, especially those who missed the fox cubs at Ossian Sars were very happy to get a second chance.

I snap a shot of the last evening on Svalbard with my mobile phone

Sassenfjorden

Sassenfjorden

After this we set the course back to Longyearbyen, and have the last meal on board, the Captains Dinner with most of the crew joining us. It was a great meal and nice chance to get to know the crew members better.

View of Adventfjorden as we approach the harbour outside of Longyearbyen.

View of Adventfjorden as we approach the harbour outside of Longyearbyen.

My plane leaves at 4:40 and at 2:30 the taxi arrives and takes me to the airport. A few hours later I’m on the SAS plane taking of for Oslo, and the trip is most definitely over. A unique trip has come to an end, and while nature threw all sorts of weather at us, I think I got some great shots (not all shown in these posts) and some truly memorable experiences with me back. I have a feeling I’ll be back, but maybe not for a little while.

Leaving Svalbard in sunrise

Leaving Svalbard in sunrise

I’ll try to make a summary post to make some reflections on the trip and maybe round up some of the best shots from the previous posts. If I get around to it 🙂

Route for July 24th

Route for July 24th

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  1. November 28, 2015

    […] Svalbard 2015 – Day 11: Finale […]

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