In two weeks time (June15, 2009), I’m off on another polar adventure.
This time to the north – to the Svalbard Archipelago. which is part of Norway, lying far to the north of the Norwegian mainland and high above the Arctic Circle.
I plan to spend a short time in Iceland on the way as its close proximity makes it too good an opportunity to miss.
The islands Of the Svalbard archipelago total an area of about 62,000 square kilometres, about the same size as Tasmania, mostly in the form of three larger islands, as well as a number of smaller outcrops. The scenery should consist of wild and rugged mountains covered with ice and snow. There are many permanent glaciers.
I will be travelling on the sister ship to the one on which I sailed to Antarctica a few years go. The aim on this expedition is to undertake a complete circumnavigation of the major islands of the Svalbard group. On the way, we will be able to use zodiacs to make landings and observe the wildlife and scenery. There is no firm itinerary for this trip as our route will be dependant on the prevailing sea ice conditions.
This is a special photographer’s trip and I hope to be able to take pictures of polar bears and other wildlife such as walrus and whales. At our northernmost point, we will be somewhere above a latitude of 80 degrees north. This puts us a mere 650 miles from the North Pole.
I have been busy over the last few weeks getting my gear together and have successfully created a connection between my computer and satellite phone so that I can post occasional stories about my trip
I’m all ready to go – just let the departure date roll along!