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As the day progresses I never really have a clear idea of what I might be writing about in the early evening and today I thought that I would be struggling for things to either write about or post pictures of.  The best,  certainly up until early afternoon,  was going to be a drawing of a polar bear.  Never did I think that I would be writing about a rowing boat!

Last night there were some lovely clouds forming over Svalbard and there were also a lot of whales in the distance.  By late evening there were a large number of dolphins and whales and it appeared that they were very busy feeding.  In addition to this there were huge numbers of seagulls.  I managed to sleep right through this evening,  which lasted over three hours but was at the wrong time of the night for me to enjoy.

There are a number of talented artists on board the JCR just now and the Chief Officer,  Annalaara,  is amongst them.  This drawing of a polar bear is on a cancelled Svalbard chart and will make a lovely memento of the trip.  I am told this drawing is based on one of my photos.

On completion of the science station this afternoon,  just as the ship was moving off and about to head south to the next site,  a rowing boat was sighted.  Following a call on VHF radio the JCR then made way towards the Albedo.

The Albedo is the sort of boat that one would perhaps expect to find mid-Atlantic and it certainly came as a bit of surprise to us some 36nm south of Svalbard.  It transpires that it is carrying out an educational trip that will eventually end with the circumnavigation of Svalbard,  although that will not be completed this summer.

Srn and Glenn are from Sweden and had departed Tromso on 19th July,  bound for Longyearbyen.  They have not had a good time of it though as they encountered strong northerly winds and were making between 25 and 60nm per day,  rowing for two hours and resting for two hours.  When the going was hard then both would row.  They are doing an educational outreach programme with Swedish schools.   More information is available on the web,  either Google or search FaceBook for 'Row around Svalbard'.

Whilst the two rowers were coming on board,  a couple of fin whales popped up and passed us by.  The rowers did mention that they had come across a dead whale earlier today.

Having just had a look out of my cabin window,  the Albedo is a tiny speck between the JCR and Svalbard.  All being well they should be in Longyearbyen in about four days time.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report  

Latitude: 76 00 N
Longitude: 16 50 E
Bearing: 173 T, 142 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR16006
Distance Travelled: 77.2
Total Distance Travelled: 1448
Steam Time: 9.2
Total Steam Time: 167.3
Average Speed: 8.3
Total Average Speed: 8.9
Wind: Direction NNE, Force 3
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 6.2 C Sea Temp: 8.4 C
Pressure: 1012.2 Tendency (3hrs): Rising


Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com