Every time Ieave my home in the Netherlands to one of the polar area’s I feel very privileged to be able to see and experience such area’s. From the first moment I set foot on Spitsbergen I’ve fallen in love with these area’s. Now, many years later, I still get excited by every sighting of a Polar Bear, Walrus or Ivory Gull. But I also enjoy the landscape (or better: icescape), the glaciers, even the smell of a bird colony. Above all I enjoy the silence and desolateness, being away from the hectic life we’ve got used to (or not). No cell phone coverage, news always comes one week late, only few e-mails. Life over there is just about wildlife, weather, scenery and good pictures. But unfortunately these area’s change. Over the years I have seen this change with my own eyes. Glaciers withdraw at an alarming speed, sea ice extent in summer is much less as it used to be. For the polar ecosystem ice is very important, comparable to the soil of a forest. If the soil is gone, the forest will be gone too.
Not many people have the privilege to visit area’s like this. Over the years I gained quite some knowledge and experiences, first as a scientist later as a guide. Now I feel its my duty to share my passion for these area’s with other people. Through my stories, lectures and pictures I hope to create more awareness for these distant but rapid changing area’s.
For more information, or to see more pictures see my website.