Monday, August 5, 2013


Tuesday evening, July 22nd.  After our field day in Kongsfjordhallet and hike to Bromsterhamna, we sailed to Ny-Ålesund.

Twenty six people live in this town.  It's one of four permanent living settlements in Svalbard.  It The permanent population is entirely research scientists, with visiting students and other transient scientists year-round.  Tourists are allowed, but you're not permitted to stray from the beaten path.  Seriously, there are ropes that keep you in.  I might've slightly snuck off the path to visit a greenhouse, and I was immediately divebombed by an Arctic tern.  They are vicious, loud, and, I suspect, trained.  Ny-Ålesund is essentially a town of pure science. See the satellite dish?  It’s a nice scale for the faulting.

Plus one bar,

 a mining museum,

and a sled dog kennel.

Sadly, I was not allowed into the dog kennel.  I might note that I took all of those pictures at around 9-930 in the evening.  It was a really beautiful night.  Many of us took the opportunity to shop the Ny-Ålesund  buttiken and send postcards to our families from the most northern post office in the world.

On our way back to the ship, we noticed this:

For scale, here is a shot of Yuribia, Kaleb, me, and the dirty, stratified iceberg floating in the harbor.

We are actually facing the source that calved this berg.  He came from either Conwaybreen (right) or Kronebreen (left):

Pretty amazing.  We got about 400 meters from the calving face of Kronebreen.  A seal swam along with us for a short time, but I couldn’t manage to get a great picture of him.  I settled for one of us instead:

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