Tikhaya Bay – an abandoned Arctic outpost

Published 12.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

Well, it’s time for our report of 12 July, Day 71. Our camp’s position is N80˚20’, E52˚46’.

The wind died down and it stopped raining in the course of the night. We got up an hour early today to take advantage of the current, paddling along the shore. Thomas and I actually found a route through the pack ice, very close to the shore. At one point we came right up close to a huge female walrus and here baby, they were resting peacefully on an ice floe. That’s quite a sight!

We reached our goal today: Tikhaya Bay. I believe this is the oldest Arctic outpost in Frans Josef Land, established in 1929. They closed it in 1959. Except for a few buildings that have obviously had visitors in recent years, it hasn’t been used since then. But it’s really quite a nice station – much more pleasant than the one we saw on Hoffmann Island. That one was rather depressing. But here it’s all right. Besides, here we’re camped by the largest bird colony in Frans Josefs-land, called Rubini Rock.

We really don’t know how long we’ll be here. Apparently there is bad weather on the way, so we’ll just have to wait it out and see. We need a couple of days of good weather in a row, before we can think about crossing our “British Channel” over to Northbrook Island and Cape Flora. The strait is 31 km wide, and that’s quite a distance to cross.

Right now Thomas and I are camped right in the station itself. We’re going to have a look around in the morning – and we’re eager to find out what the weather brings. Talk to you tomorrow!


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