The Artric Ocean.
Sailing from the northern tip of Norway, across the Barents Sea to the magical islands of Svalbard in the frozen Artric Ocean, looking for Polar bears.
Only 650 miles from the North Pole.
As I always say, 'Any journey above the Artric Circle is my heaven'.
I hope by looking at some of these pic's. you'll see why.
We got a lift to Spitzbergen, the main island in Svalbard, on a Norwegian fishing trawler for 5 days, which in it's self, was a great trip and with a stop off at Bear Island. Then we were dropped off in Longyearbyen, the main town on Spitzbergen we broaded an old, beautiful Swedish Ice Breaker and headed to the very tip of the island into the frozen sea's.
View from the back of the ship.
The ship is called the Stockhem, it was built in 1936 and is so elegant inside, , just what you want. Love these panoramic pictures, they work so well in this stunning landscape. These photos were taken at 3 in the morning, the joy of that wierd 24 hours of sunsine.
Still, it's quite hard core to be filming in these freezing conditions but for Gary the cameraman & Chris the director it's was all just water of a ducks back.
Isolated huntings hut used back in the day by fur trappers, now that's real hard core.
Me, tied to the mast.
Looking down from the crows-nest at the ship curving through the pack ice.
A photo I took leaning over the front of the ship , of the bow cutting through the ice.
The beginning of the frozen sea.
Chris Legder and the Captain of the Fishing trawler discussing who has the best feece jacket .
What a great sign and its serious too. Anyone going beyond this point i Longyearbyen has to carry a rifle.
God it looks cold at there!
Early morning pictures of the ice flow. The incrediable sound of the ships metal bow scraping & cutting through the frozen ice down in the cabins is surreal, deafening and frightening.
FISH AND CHIPS.
It's hard for me to walk past a chip shop once I've have a sniff of that lovely, intoxicating smell of flying fish & chips. Hummm..... it's like a drug. Althoug cod, I have to admit, hasn't really got much flavour, it's all about the freshness & good, light batter. So, just out of interest, when I was on the trawler and asked all the fishermen what their favourite fish to eat was.
I was absolutely shooke,d because most of them told me that it was COD! I couldn't understood what they were talking about. In the evening they presented me with a large plate of fried cod, one that had been swimming in the cold, Berant Sea just 2 hours ago, batter and served with golden chips, all for my jugdement.
Oh... my days! It felt like my first time eating cod. It was completely different from anything that I had ever tasted before, the flavour was sensational. Only now did I understand the ways of the COD.
I was also informed that a lot of the cod in Britain has been frozen twice before it hits the table.
footnote - when I have chips from the chippie, I have to have so much salt & vinegar on 'em, that, if you put you nose into the bag and take a wiff, its like breathing in sharp smelling salts, the acid aroma is so strong it would snap people out of a coma.
On the bridge of the trawler, Hemes.
Spitzbergen's northern coastline.
A pirates map of Svalbard.... Arghhh...
Leaving the mainland of Norway.
View from the port in Northern Norway before departure.
The nets on the fishing trawler ready to go & the two main types of fish caugh here, Cod & Plaice.