This article is part of the series “2022-02: Winter cruise Kronprins Haakon”.
It is half past two in the night between Thursday and Friday. For almost two hours I had stood on the helicopter deck of the icebreaker Kronprins Haakon to witness our arrival in Longyearbyen on Svalbard.
When I went outside two hours ago clouds had just started to gather and the moon was hidden. I could see dark and pale schemes on both sides of the ship and straight ahead another shade of a mountain, decorated with lights.
Slowly the lights came nearer. And since it was the first time I had mobile Internet for many days I could follow our route on the map of the iPhone. Only occasionally because a cold wind on the bow made the quite mild temperatures of -5 °C feel much colder.
There – the airport! And then, after we started to turn into the Adventfjorden, the city Longyearbyen – Svalbard’s largest settlement.
The ship slowed down at the harbour and slowly and carefully started to move sideways. Do we still move? I peek down to the pier. There, the first thick rope connects the vessel with land – the first land after we bunkered fuel round 19 days ago!
We have arrived in Longyearbyen. Almost three weeks I worked, learned, photographed, relaxed, ate and slept on Kronprins Haakon. Tomorrow I’ll disembark and in the early afternoon take an airplane back to Tromsø. Yes, I am sad that this incredible journey has now come to its end. But I am also happy and content and full of stories, experiences and memories.
Do I smile on the photo or am I sad? Most of all I am tired and then a bit tense because it is hard to hold the iPhone as still as possible for some seconds with an outstretched arm.
The scientific winter cruise Arven etter Nansen JC3 took almost three weeks. Three very extraordinary weeks. And it will take at least three other weeks to tell some of the stories and show some of the photos here in the blog. So, please be patient – more to come, but step by step.