Nordenskiold Glacier In The Adolf Bay (Longyearbyen) | CruiseBe
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Nordenskiold Glacier In The Adolf Bay

Sergey Dolya • 5 minutes read • April 8th, 2016

Opposite the polar 


, on the other side of the fjord, there is one of the most beautiful glaciers of Spitsbergen - Nordenskiold Glacier. Both the bay and the glacier are named after Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, a Swedish scientist/ geologist, explorer and navigator. He is known as the first man who passed the Northern Sea Route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean between 1878-1879.
Although, at first glance it seems that the glacier is close at hand, the distance from the village is 15 miles (25 kilometers). When we set sail, we were very lucky with the weather. The water of the fjord was smooth, like a mirror, and we sailed through the expanse by sunset, frightening the birds:

The route toward the glacier took us about 50 minutes. Sea parrots took off from the water. As I said, they are polar birds, whose wing-beat frequency is about 400 strokes per minute:

Here it is coming in for landing:

Gulls were flying:

As we approached the glacier, the first pieces of ice appeared:

These birds (terns, I suppose) accompanied our boat the whole time, wherever we went:

Birds huddled together in the icy background:  

The glacier is in front of us. The main part can be seen, resting on the ground. The likelihood of harsh waves here is minor, so we were able to get closer.

Here are some photos taken by quadrocopter. To understand the scale, I should tell that each protruding peak has a height of about 9 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters):

The sun emerged from the clouds and the snow took on a reddish hue. It looks like the surface of some other planet:

You can walk along some of the glaciers but not the Nordenskiold glacier. First, the surface is too rough and second, every minute a crack runs through the ice with a frightening crash. There is a risk you will fall:

This "cave" formed naturally because of the destruction of the ice:

You can see huge cracks:

And this is the watershed. You can clearly see the point where the glacier's melting of fresh water meets the salt water of the fjord:

While there are large pieces that break off of the glacier, there are places where it crumbles like a rock. 

Look at those beautiful pieces of ice:

We met a local inhabitant. Generally, near the glacier there is always a large concentration of animals - seals and polar bears. Although we didn't have a chance to meet any polar bears during the whole trip. They usually occupy floes, floating along the fjord:

Very funny seal, it looks like a hamster:

Our journey to 


came to an end. It was a memorable trip and I hope someday I'll be able to come back in the winter and drive on a snowmobile along the snowy valleys.
Author: Sergeydolya

Translated by: Gian Luka

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