The Far North – Svalbard, East Greenland and Bjoern Oya

My work as a guide took me again to the Arctic for nine trips. Most of them were spent around Svalbard, but two took me to North-East Greenland and Iceland and one to the remote Bear Island in between Svalbard and Norway.

Early in the season the pack ice prevents trips to the East of Svalbard and this year was especially icy. So we stayed in the west, spending days in the pack ice to look for polar bears. And we were lucky, bears on kills, two male bears wrestling with each other, a male bear that was following a female bear with love on his mind and a super fat male bear who was happy to share the killed seal with a much smaller and skinnier young male. We saw a bear stalking a seal who got away in the very last moment.

In July/August the sea-ice retreats further north and circumnavigations become possible. The tundra is covered in flowers and temperatures are normally quite pleasant. However, many trips were very wet and often views were obscured by clouds, rain dripping down my face while I was trying to enthuse passengers. The weather luck changed with the second Greenland trip and we had day after day sunshine with clear nights to watch auroras.

Having travelled for 3 months on the ship I decided to have two days in Tromso to chase the Northern Lights. In my second night I got lucky and spending the night at Ersfjord 40km away from Tromso I had several hours of Northern Light magic.