Glacier cruise

After we left the Bearded Seals behind, two more interesting things happened during the zodiac cruise near Monacobreen. First thing was the glacier looked different from the previous years. Over the past decades, the Monacobreen has receded quite a bit, revealing a new island and separating the Seligerbreen from the larger Monacobreen. However, this year the glacier was surging a little. This is a process where a glacier suddenly moves forward at a much faster speed as it normally does. It doesn’t mean the glacier as a whole is growing, as it’s just a movement of the ice down the mountain because the pressure higher up has become more as the friction of the glacier on the surface (or maybe because there has formed a thin layer of meltwater between the glacier and bedrock, reducing the friction). Anyhow, for us, this meant the glacier suddenly looked different and places where we could easily drive our zodiacs last year, were now covered in a thick layer of ice. Let’s see how this looks next year…

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Walrus in front of Monacobreen

While we were cruising along the glacier front, we found another seal hauled out on a small piece of ice. Another Bearded Seal? No, a Walrus!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Walrus in front of the Monacobreen or this deep into Liefdefjord. She was a young female, still without tusks and was quite shy. No possibility to come close for close up pictures. But a wide-angle picture with the massive glacier front behind it is something different again.

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.

One comment

  • Fascinating discussion about the glacier movements, and your familiarity with them. And my goodness, that photo with the blue glacier and the walrus is truly incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

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