Sailing with friends in Isfjord, treks or small trips ashore, kayaking or diving, alternately with maintenance and preparation of Vagabond for the next wintering. France is on board since last week. Great Arctic summer life...
Article on the birdwatching and geology expedition in Greenland, summer 2005
From 29th July to 4th August at Paul-Emile Victor Centre, Prémanon, Jura (France)
Vagabond is back to civilization, she arrived tonight around 7pm. She had left Longyearbyen harbour on 30 September 2005. Yesterday's stop at Hornsund Polish Polar Station was great. I was happy to meet again with Jozef Wiktor, we had been working together last year. 3 other yachts dropped anchor there as well (a real marina!), but Sebastien and me probably had special treatment (shower, lunch, gifts...). Next winter, our polish neighbours will be 9 including one woman.
We left yesterday noon in the fog, with our 3 dogs very quiet at the back of the boat. Rough sea at the beginning, but Vagabond seemed happy sailing again, after 9 and half months frozen in ice. Short stop at Isbukta, just before going around the southern cape of Spitsbergen, and heading for the polish base in Hornsund.
Pack ice has been broken up by the swell, and around 3am, dogs were suddenly drifting away... They are now on land, waiting for departure, and we put the 3 dog houses with the equipment staying here until we are back in October. Vagabond will be free within few hours.
11:00-12:00, France Pinczon du Sel interviewed by Isabelle Autissier on France Inter radio
Pack ice is still holding us in our shelter, but the hole is now big enough around Vagabond and we could make a uturn today. Vagabond is looking at the exit!
9 o'clock this morning, a first polar bear too curious, a first flare. The 14 July dance could open on the ice still holding us, while last year, Vagabond could weigh anchor on 13 July.
Seal meat for everyone, that was on the menu yesterday, for Sébastien's 30th birthday. Early morning, 4 polar bears were already eating a big seal, not far from Vagabond. At least hunting went good for one of them, he then had to share it with 3 others who arrived not long after the event. Then the birds pounced on the leftovers. Our dogs had to wait we finished our good seal meat panful, then they wolfed down the few bits of fat we gave them. About sea ice, no change. Also fog and drizzle are back, in the image of the defeat of the French team...