2004 Expedition Blog - Day 3

Date:

Sunday, 12 September 2004, 13:50 (CF2 time)

From:

David Buckland

Expedition:

2004 Expedition

Subject:
Daily blog, Sunday 12 September 2004
Attachments: 2 images
Detail of floating sea ice Bright blue iceberg floating in a quite sea

Last night we were ashore until 2am Noorderlicht time. New crisp snow and a terrain more like the surface of the moon except so much more beautiful, this planet contains so much mystery that it make you wonder where the need is to visit ultra barren places like outer space. Our whole team were exhilarated to be walking where humans rarely tread, and looking back at the smallness of the Noorderlicht, both our home and only means of getting out of here reinforced our sense aloneness. The new moon also shared our brief night, the beginning of a cycle that always thrills me.

No polygons were found during our walk ashore and our second possible landing place proved impossible as a strong night wind broke in surf on the shore so we continue onto Ny-Ålesund arriving in time for Anna's breakfast of newly baked bread (we now all believe she is fattening us up for feeding to the polar bears). The wild night left the whole crew mercifully free of sea sickness, some positively revealing in the roller coaster ride in our womb like bunks.

Small icebergs now drift ocean-bound and three artists have just returned elated by the beauty of 2000 year old ice, all expressing concern of how the translate that sense of wonder back to exhibitions in London.

Our captain Gert has just 'walked' up the rigging to the masthead where he has stationed our infrared lens for connection to cameras during sea passages. We now have bird-eye surveillance of the Noorderlicht!

The science team from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton are measuring the fresh and sea water mix in the fjord, currents and melt ice influence - see their report later!

This afternoon we visit the glacier front (fast moving and in retreat) - the sailing charts showing ice where it's now all sea.

David Buckland

2004 expedition route map