Campement Vagabond

Our yacht, now hut, seems to be very still, frozen in ice for 8 months. But she is coming up and down with tides. Cracks along the shore are opening and closing with creakings that are sometimes making the dogs mad. These movements are quite strong at spring tides, and as the boat is very close to shore, she is tilting one side, then the other... So we have to hold our cups like when at sea! Somehow, we are sailing at the speed of one meter wave every 12 hours...

Labyrinthe de glace

If we are here since autumn 2004, it is to study pack ice. So we observe its behaviour, depending and marine currents and weather. But for that, before drilling a hole and plunging scientific instruments, we need to find a way to bring our equipment to the concerned area... Tormented by storms when forming, sea ice is not yet passable. Still captivated by this sight, we wait. Snow and wind should soon level this magnificent chaotic field.

Un dimanche sur la banquise

It is Sunday, and conditions are perfect for a dog sledge trip! Pack ice is now thick enough (about 70 cm average), cold and wind for the last few days have packed the snow, and sun is shinning several hours. It looks like polar night is far behind us, but the first sun rise of the year was only 3 weeks ago! Polar bear visits are less because open water is far from Vagabond also we feel more comfortable to leave our camp for a short trip around, with or without scientific instruments.


It is a polar dog that connected the 2 yachts of Damocles, and our little pack increased last week. Zagrey is coming from Russia, he crossed the Arctic Ocean with Tara, a 17 months trip at the speed of pack ice. He reached Vagabond by snowmobile from Longyearbyen, first stop of Tara, and his huge dog house found a place near those from his 3 new companions, who cannot much approach without him growling! Zagrey is barking unexpectedly, we're hoping that he will soon get use to pack ice cracks, that he will mainly bark after polar bears, that he will pull a bit the sledge, but that he will keep quiet and will not make as much noise as the others at food time! Welcome to the joyful oldest of the team.

Au soleil

Léonie had only just blown out her first candle when she rediscovered the sun entering the saloon of Vagabond. While a polar bear looked on, perched on the closest iceberg, probably not to miss anything from the scene making our small crew very happy, the sunbeams touched the boat yesterday, for the first time since last October. A pleasure to share these moments with our friends Roland and Dominique, as well as scientific work on pack ice and northern lights. The weather is great, -30°C for the last 3 days, but no wind.


'L'esprit Vagabond', 26 minutes film made by Benoît Aymon and Pierre-Antoine Hiroz in April and August 2007 for 'Passe-moi les jumelles' on TSR.


"L'esprit vagabond", 26 minutes documentary made in 2007 by Benoît Aymon and Pierre-Antoine Hiroz, will be shown in "Passe-moi les jumelles" program on TSR at 20:05 on Wednesday 27th February (Léonie's first birthday!). It will be then possible to watch the film on