2003 Expedition Blog - Day 4

Date:

Thursday, 29 May 2003, 01:34

From:

Alex Lambert

Expedition:

2003 Expedition

Subject:
A change of plan
Attachments: -

It is now 1:30 am and we are circling around to the other side of Bear Island in search of a place to moor our boat in hopes of reaching terra firma tomorrow.

The pack ice did stop us in our path on our original route in. The ice and island were breath taking in the light of the midnight sun... with a rainbow thrown in for good measure!!

This day of whales, dolphins, an iceberg, calmer waters, healthy happy crew and the shining sun was certainly a great day in itself, yet were we rewarded yet again by our time on the Devil's Dancefloor (the local's affectionate name for the rough crossing from Tromsø to Bear Island) by a polar bear as we turned to sail around the other side of Bear Island. We had a good watch of the bear as it played amongst the ice, then jumped in the water to swim towards the boat... perfect for better viewing and our camera happy boat!

What a day... and night... as they begin to melt into each other where the sun never sets.

Alex

Date:

Thursday, 29 May 2003, 20:41

From:

Cape Farewell Team

Expedition:

2003 Expedition

Subject:
No landing, but still a successful day
Attachments: -

Hi,

Another eventful day! We tired the northern side of Bear Island in the early hours of the morning, hoping for a sheltered bay where we could stop for the day, to have a look at the old whaling station.

No such luck - ice everywhere, and no way in. (The photo shows what Bear Island looks like at the moment - no way in.)

We were forced to set sail for the southern tip of Spitsbergen. Should get there in the early hours of tomorrow morning. We're doing well at the moment, under full sails - 9 knots or so.

On route we took measurements at four different stations - and got some really interesting results. One mainly polar water, with a small tongue of Atlantic Gulf Stream water at around 20-50m depth. Two stations at the ice edge and one back in Atlantic water. The film crew got some good shots of Suba helping Sarah and me make measurements (see photo at the bottom).

The water is amazingly clear, and our plankton trawl did not bring in as much life as the day before. We still have not been able to use the microscopes, we need calmer water to be able to see anything. Hopefully tomorrow?

Cape Farewell Team

2003 expedition route map