Gnålodden in Hornsund

In the Arctic flexibility is very important. It’s good to make plans, but you always have to have a plan B (and often even a plan C, D and E). There are many factors who can disrupt plans during an exhibition cruise: wind, ice conditions and of course Polar Bears. This morning I wanted to go ashore at Gnålodden, the tundra area underneath a bird cliff in Hornsund. Another ship just beat me to it, and after a short conversation over the radio we agreed that the other expedition leader would give me a sign when I could come ashore. That call came a lot earlier. They had just put their first group ashore, when they found a Polar Bear high up on the tundra right underneath the cliff. Even though they had scanned the area very well, the had missed out on this one initially. I can’t really blame them, this high I also wouldn’t expect a Polar Bear. The situation wasn’t dangerous as the distance was great, but a landing was out of the question, also for us of course. This meant I had to come up with plan B, a ships cruise through the ice filled bay of Burgerbukta. When the sun started to shine a little, this turned out to be a great option.


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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