So, I’m back in the Arctic, it really feels like home after 14 summers up here. I like the quietness, the remoteness and the wilderness up here. Not the hectic life at home, no cell phones to distract you (although I do use my iPhone to enter sightings in iObs this year), the only time limits you have are the meal times (and they are quite flexible). Really nice, a great way to get far away of the stress of daily life in the Netherlands. This year I start on the Noorderlicht (well, I’ve actually finished my trip there already) and do one after on Plancius.
This image was taken in the fjord where my Arctic adventure started, back in 1999: Kongsfjord. The ship you see is Noorderlicht (the most beautiful ship around Spitsbergen), the islands in the middle are important breeding islands for the Barnacle Geese I was researching in Ny Ålesund. In the back of the image you see the bird cliff of Stuphalet and a little to the left, though not visible in this image, Ny Ålesund, the village where I did my research. It still feels good to come back to this fjord that I know so well. Also a bit like a homecoming, even though my home is now floating on water and moving around the archipelago.