An exposed campsite in heavy winds

Published 11.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

It’s 11 July and Day 71. Our position is unchanged, and the weather has been dreadful. It has been raining and snowing and raining – and there’s been a fierce southerly wind all day. Thomas and I decided it was best to stay put. No point in pressing on in rain and headwind; we’d just get soaked and exhausted. Besides, we’re not in a hurry.

The location of our campsite is magnificent! It’s right below the birdrock that I was telling you about yesterday. We were out earlier to have a look around and stretch our legs, and the surroundings here are really something.

The wind has pushed away the ice and opened up a large area of water. When we looked back at where we crossed on our skis – well, that ice is all gone now. Instead there is 2 km of water. But we don’t mind, we’re more than happy to continue by sea.

Our plan now is to paddle further into the fjord to find a less exposed site. Winds keep pounding the headland where we’re camped. It may be beautiful her, but we’re more vulnerable than we like. On Thursday the weather is supposed to get even worse, with stronger winds. That’s why we would prefer to head south, in the direction of the Arctic station at Tikhaya Bay. That’s on Hooker Island. Time will tell if we can reach it tomorrow.

The weather decides everything. We’ll just have to wait and see what it’s like in the morning. It’s rather unpredictable right now. But Thomas and I are hoping to head further along the shore by sea, and to find a good campsite. Then we’ll see if this turns into a full-blown storm. If so, it’s not really a problem; we can handle that for a day or to.

In other words: position unchanged. We’re camped on this slippery, almost inaccessible headland. Nevertheless we had visitors yesterday …no, actually it was today. This morning a she-bear and two cubs came sniffing at our tent. Then they sauntered off peacefully.

It’s lively here at this camp – and all is well.

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