From 7th to 18th June 2017 we ventured North to Svalbaard or Spitzbergen where we joined the small sailing vessel NOORDELICHT our home for 10 days.Sailing from Longyearbyen we reached 80 degrees north where the pack ice was still intact.During the trip we encountered 3 Polar Bears,Reindeer.Arctic Fox,Walrus,Bearded Seals, Ringed Seals,Blue Whales, Minke and Beluga whales too.On the bird front the highlights were White Billed Diver,Long Tailed Skua,Ivory Gull,King Eider and summer plumage Grey Phalarope.Other birds of note were numerous Little Auks,Brunnichs Guillemot,Black Guillemots and Puffins, Glaucous Gulls,BarnacleGeese,Pink Footed Geese and Snow Buntings.Arctic and Great Skuas Arctic Terns and Kittiwakes.Most common waders were Purple Sandpiper,Dunlin and Ringed Plover.
DAY 1 LONGYEARBYEN AND THE DEPARTURE.
SNOW BUNTINGS were all around the town singing from the rooftops.
DONT LEAVE TOWN WITHOUT A GUN.
THE TASTE OF THINGS TO COME-
THE FIRST NIGHT AT SEA.
PINK FOOTED GEESE
GREY PHALAROPE A classic tale of role reversal where the female is the more colourful of the two and the male incubates the eggs and raises the young.
WALRUS COLONY,Despite the big tusks they have a diet of shellfish,the tusks are used for fighting to establish breeding seniority.
NOORDELICHT Our little ship.
DAY 3- GETTING TO 80 DEGREES NORTH AND THE PACK ICE.
ARCTIC SKUAS LIGHT AND DARK PHASE.
KITTIWAKES- THOUSANDS OF EM.
THE FIRST POLAR BEAR Unfortunately we didn`t get very close to the bears the photos have been cropped .He or she made its way around the bay and then went off up the snow field.