"This Arctic light is easy to fall for." ~Richard Sidey, Videographer
LONGYEARBYEN TIME Where is Longyearbyen, Svalbard? Halfway to the North Pole from the north coast of Norway, about 600 miles equidistant between the two.
If polar bears exert themselves for long they become overheated, which explains their unhurried demeanor. It may also explain why the bears we're seeing are so lethargic. The above bear may be cooling off after a tiring swim.
Click on BIRDS OF SVALBARD for a gallery of birds seen in Svalbard summer 2008. And PLANTS OF SVALBARD to see what's blooming. Wait 'til you see the arctic Jacob's Ladder! Stunning!
KAYAKING IN ANTARCTICA Our adventures aboard the Shokalskiy on the Peninsula can be found here.
Kayaking the Arctic high latitudes
I'm privileged to work for Quark Expeditions on the Antarctic Peninsula each austral summer, our nothern winter.
For the first time this year, during our northern summer, I'm having the extreme good fortune to be a kayak guide for 2 10-day trips around the 800-mile coast of Svalbard, just 600 miles south of the geographical North Pole, off the northeast coast of Greenland and way up north of Iceland.
Each trip is totally different depending on wildlife encounters, the sometimes extreme weather conditions, the colorful mix of our naturalists and our varied passenger group dynamics. In short order we become 'friends and neighbors' aboard our cheerful little ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy.
Come with me as we explore this new territory in the kingdom of polar bears, walrus, ringed seals, kittiwakes, ivory gulls, arctic foxes, auks and guillemots.
History Lecturer, Mariano Curiel, Safety Zodiac Driver, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Yours truly, Kayak Guide, Louise, New York State, USA. (Click on photo for Vesla's Blogs.)
NORDIC BLUE GLOVES
These are the cat's meow. The textured rubber is soft and supple when cold and the wool (or optional fleece) liner keeps my hands warm, a tall order. The rubber wrist gasket keeps water out. I've been on the hunt for the perfect kayaking glove for these frigid polar paddling conditions for 4 years now and I think I finally found it! Used for diving and polar exploration since the mid-90s. Made in Sweden. Check out Nordic Blues by clicking on the photo. Thanks, Nordic Blue!
My new SeaSpecs are fantastic! They cut the glare and the UVB/UVA protection keeps the eyes rested. Thanks, SeaSpecs! They're awesome on the Arctic seas!
Noway's original hiking bar. A precursor to our US Kit Kat bar, created in 1937. Read up on its romanticized history as a hiking and skiing 'food' by clicking on photo.