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Magdalena Fjord, Svalbard

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Magdalena Fjord is another magical anchorage. We are surrounded with glaciers, secure behind a sand spit from all but easterly (off the glacier) winds. Ice can be a problem, but we are fortunate in low densities right now. With perfect weather we decide to make this an official rest stop.

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These two hardy gentlemen represent the Sysselman’s office for two months each summer. Rolph is a hunting instructor during the rest of the year and Ole is a police officer in Bergan. They spend the summer at their isolated cabin. Rolph and Ole joined us for dinner, but declined our invitation for a hot shower having just bathed in a meltwater stream (32F/0C).

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There are thousands of sea birds here. These gulls are feeding on fish at the glacier face.

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We’ve been on polar bear alert during our stay in Svalbard. Everyone here takes this very seriously. Ole carries a .457 Magnum pistol, 4mm flash bang flares, and on hikes, a 30-06 rifle. Polar bears are smart, carefully stalk their prey, and will even disguise their black noses with snow when hunting seals. We wondered if this was a polar bear disguised as a block of ice.

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Arctic terns are amazing flyers. They travel from the Arctic summer south to the Antarctic for the southern hemisphere warm season. Watching them pilot themselves is a treat; in particular the way they pitch up, stop, and hover hummingbird-style.

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We probably shot 1000 frames trying to capture these shots, and got just two out of the entire batch.

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The beach is gently sloping sand, easy for dinghy landing, with a lack of cover for anything wanting to surprise us (think stalking polar bear) which is good. Actually they haven’t seen a bear here all summer, but spotted one in the next fjord over. We did see a reindeer through the binoculars grazing on the mountains between glaciers and foxes looking for bird eggs.

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We’ll close with series of photos taking during dinner with our two new friends from the Sysselman’s office.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 12, 2009)




One Response to “Magdalena Fjord, Svalbard”

  1. Weihnachtsbeleuchtung Says:
    LED Lichterkette… [...]SetSail » Blog Archive » Magdalena Fjord, Svalbard[...]…


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