Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 14

Expedition Day 9: Fjortende Julibukta and Ny London

What was planned
What actually happened

Today we had two sites to visit, Julibukta or the "Hanging gardens of Svalbard" due to the diversity of plant life, and Ny London one of the few archeological sites from early mining.


After another solid breakfast (its amazing how hungry you can get in the cold...) we boarded the Zodiacs for the short trip to the beach at Julibukta. The coast here is close to a large glacier, and many large bergs had grounded on the shoreline. We spent time looking at the ice, the rocks and the vegetation, which was more extensive than we had seen elsewhere. On our way back to the' ship, we were checked over by a seal and then we passed close to cliffs where guilemots, seagulls and puffins were nesting.

The grounded bergs made convenient seats.
A profusion of red coats amongst the ice.
The nearby glacier that was the source for the ice.
Plenty of ice, but most of the mountains were bare rock.
A flock of barnacle geese in the distance.
Our ship appearing to be stuck in ice.
The glacier with meltwater streams carrying rock debris.
A cloud trapped by thermal inversion.
A seal came to check up on us.
A pari of gulls with chicks.
A puffin keeping an eye on us.
A pair of puffins.
Puffins and guilemots.

Video of Julibukta

A video of the view from Julibukta.

Ny London

This area has an interesting history. Across the fjord from our ship is a large international research station at Ny Ålesund. Nearby is the remains of a tall mast that was the tethering point for the airship "Norge" used by the Amundsen-Ellsworth expedition in 1926 to be the first to reach the North Pole. Ny LOndon itself is the remains of a mining camp. Most mines in the region were extracting coal, but this one was quarrying a pale green-grey marble. Despite the investment in the mine, it was not profitable and ssson closed. Today two houses, the steam engine and roads and tracks are all that remains.

A Zodiac coming into Ny London.
The solid looking mine manager's house - known as camp Mansfield after the mine developer.
Small crane at the remains of the jetty where the marble was loaded onto ships.
The remains of the steam engine that hauled the railway wagons.
Model number for the engine - Ingersoll No 503.
Remains of the quarry operations.
Another shallow quarry where the marble was extracted.
Today the only wildlife are rendeer and terns.
Also a few nesting birds.
And some buttercups.
Reindeer hair.
The camp from the sea.
Sea caves cut into the marble along the coast.

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Last updated: 9/12/2015