Svalbard · 76 Days · 57 Moments · May 2015

Little Bird

Little Bird's expedition to Svalbard

7 August 2015

I feel super weird to actually see the sunset and I realized that it's getting dark.
Or maybe some food... Frankfurt airport. I cried through entire flight from Tromsø to Oslo. Breathtaking landscape and the sadness of leaving.

6 August 2015

Last night in Tromsø. I don't want to go back home. I want to go back on Bear Island.

5 August 2015

Soon ready for departure. Flight to Tromsø.
Hammerfest. Feels weird to be on the mainland again.
Can see the mainland... And I retrieved the network connection on my mobile!

4 August 2015

Boat trip. It will take some time to get on mainland. It was a great experience this arctic expedition. I really liked it. Sometimes it was hard. Sometimes it was fun. Sometimes I hated it, but mostly I enjoyed it and I'm glad that I took a part in Bjørnøya project.
KV barentshav. The boat is almost brand new and I got my own apartment. I was surprised that I couldn't fall asleep immediately. Too much excitement and again I had troubles with my arm. I woke up several times during the time because it was aching so badly. This is a really cool ship. I enjoyed the gym in the morning. That was sooooo nice! Maybe I will feel my muscles once again. I have to break another record with sit-ups too...

31 July 2015

Sometimes the weather is so bad in here that we can't do anything. Just sit in the cabin and relax. I don't like it today because we have very little time left. Unfortunately we are not flying with helicopter and we skip Longyearbyen. Quite sad since I really wanted to do some shopping. We're going by boat and also the day earlier as previously planned. Only few days left.

28 July 2015

Another trip to the sea. This time I made it to Kapp Harry. I had to bring some sea water. Nice time I had.

27 July 2015

Living in tundra is amazing. It has good sides and some bad ones. I started to count the days to the departure a long time ago, but today I feel like: I will miss that time, this place, these people, the work. It makes me sad a bit. It's not that I don't look forward to be home again, but on the other hand I decided to carry home inside me. It's incredible with how many things you have to deal with while you live on Island in the Arctic. Starting the generator, preparing the camp so it can handle the weather, learning how to pee or brush teeth in strong winds, orientate or navigate in the fog. It's only few things to mention. There is much more. Today was a very good day. We got 3 loggers back and I ringed quite few chicks. My knees hurt but because of Nils and Kurt I think I'm doing ok with the high spirits. Of course the big impact in that matter had a shower from yesterday. That was brilliant.

25 July 2015

Tundra almost run vol. 3! Really nice one. I thought that my knees will not make it but I couldn't resist either. I just had to run. Started and then continued. After that I could finally walk barefeet. It's summer time, yet the first time for my feet in tundra to be wet and cold in the stream. Excellent!

20 July 2015

First chick ringed! Nils took it out and ringed it. I only helped a bit. I'm not good at extracting birds from the nests. I got only two chicks today and I had tried at least 8. Very unsuccessful :(

17 July 2015

Skutilen. Another met-cabin. I think I will go a bit further. I hurt my knee but I hope it will be fine. It hurts only a bit. And it's almost swollen enough.

14 July 2015

Alfredfjellet! Nice and quick trip to the top. I liked it but the weather was in my favour too. I think I will do that more often. I also found a new fresh water supply. Will of something about that...

12 July 2015

A small trip to the ocean :) Barents Sea. I had to get wet feet!

9 July 2015

YEEEEEES!!!! I'm an auntie! Yupeeee!!! Today my sister delivered Hannah. I'm so happy! I have a niece!!!! Yay!

8 July 2015

That was one of the most scary nights I experienced. The wind was blowing with gusts approximately 20 m/s. Horrible. Mist everywhere, rain and those blows. I had a feeling that our cabin will not make it. Gosh, how scared of wind I am!

2 July 2015

Forgot to mention my tundra run vol. 1. It was a short one but I got nicely tired. I have to make a second attempt. It would be lovely. Jumping from stone to stone, avoiding water and step gently in a soft moss.

1 July 2015

I gave a warning a loooong time ago. I'm difficult. And everyone knows about that. I'm unbearable. I'm sorry.
Aren't they cute?!

27 June 2015

First time on the helicopter! It didn't last longer than 7 minutes, but still it was awesome!! It was swinging quite a lot with this small helicoptery. Today I moved to Ellasjøen. Vegard moved to Amfiet. Now I will stay forty more days in the Little Auks colony together with Kurt that I know well.
Yesterday should have been last night before going to Ellasjøen, but it was not all in all. According to the plan we should have left Revdalen by helicopter couple of hours ago. Interestingly and surprisingly from a clear sky we got a serious fog. I saw it only twice before. So, the backup plan was to sleep on the floor in the kitchen. I don't feel like sleeping anyways...

23 June 2015

My first night in the tent out in Revdalen! Excited and happy! Perhaps this night will be sleepless, but we'll see!

21 June 2015

Mission accomplished. 26 nests and 39 individuals of Glaucous Gull.
Misery top!
Small trip around Björnøya

19 June 2015

My first ringed Glaucous Gull! Also the first big bird ever, the first sea bird, the first gull. Very happy :) Vegard needed to help me to tighten it anyway. They are steel rings, much harder than aluminium that I'm used to. I started to think what I'm going to do after this summer. Feeling insecure and stressed already.

16 June 2015

Kafe Lognvika :) nice cabin, nice weather, nice company! Pity we didn't have our own coffee.

15 June 2015

Yesterday I've met the Fantastic Mr Fox! I heard that they are very curious and playful but I didn't expect one of them chewing on my boot! Incredible :) They are so funny and they want to follow you all the time. This fellow joined us on the way back to the cabin in Revdalen. By the way, Revdalen means The Fox Valley. Pretty cool! That was nice. It's not always like it... Unfortunately I was beaten up by a gull today. Or I should say: literately knocked out by a gull. As Vegard said it's a shame to be 53 kg woman yet being knocked out by a less than 2 kg bird... The angry birds didn't like that I wanted to get them. I've put the loop, but that didn't go well. One of the birds attacked me so painfully that I was bleeding from my head and I felt the headache for several more hours. Now it's ok, but at that time it wasn't pleasant. At all.

14 June 2015

Kapp Kolthoff. I really like this place! Good workout when you consider walking uphill this steep thing. Yesterday I was freezing, today I could lay down and get sun tanned.

12 June 2015

So yesterday it wasn't perfect but it was ok weather. Today the weather was nasty, snowy and totally cool. We didn't want to disturb the birds and we decided on a day off. Instead of sitting home all day we went to Kvalrossbukta to fetch some of the things. And the mission for today was called: Pancakes. We got brand new frying pans and we had to make use of them! I like this expedition.
Not many pictures I will bring back from this trip. I didn't get the charger to the camera I borrowed so I have only iPhone. And since weather stopped being nice to us I can't use it anymore. Very few pictures. Sadly. I don't know if Vegard likes working with me. I enjoy this field work veeeery much. I love it. In the field is super nice (even in harsh weather), we catch the birds, we take the blood samples (I'm becoming better and better I think!), then when we are home I need to enter the data and I need to prepare the blood samples for freezer. It's a perfect balance of the work. I like it!

10 June 2015

Another day accomplished. Not sure if that was a positive day. We caught three birds and I was writing everything in my brand new Rite in the Rain notebook. When I was taking the blood sample from the last bird Vegard said something about the notebook. I finished and then it stroke me: the notebook fell with the wind, straight to the sea... I started to curse and got very angry. First serious day and I made such a stupid mistake. Later on we tried to retrieve it but the mission was abandoned. It was possible to get it (the notebook was between the cliff, stable from the wind). Shame. Good accent of the day was that it caught my first gull ever. That was something!

8 June 2015

Kapp Kolthoff. Today we mapped the nests of glaucous gulls close to Kapp Kolthoff. Running around angry gulls on slippery stones was not the best. I got hit twice. Once was really badly actually. My head has a mark even. For most of the day we had a nice weather. Again :)

7 June 2015

Kvalrossbukta. Not too many nests that we found today. Luckily for us KV Svalbard brought ten guys to help us carrying this extremely heavy stuff. Good for us. But my impression about this whole adventure still will be related to carrying heavy backpacks uphill for several times. And today we got email that the movement to Ellasjøen will not have a helicopter... Even more heavy backpack hiking. I don't look forward to that.
I may get used to the weather. Later it will be difficult. KV Svalbard called on our Iridium phone and it's possible that they will send six people to help us carrying the rest of the stuff. Yesterday it was nice first day of the work. It was short and I'm not used to the timing of the work. I would have to anyways! These are the cool birds. I'm happy that I will work with gloucous gulls.

5 June 2015

It is beautiful. This Island is magnificent. We are indeed very lucky to be here. I'm glad that I can be here. We've arrived yesterday evening around 22 and when we managed to get offshore we had to organise the backpacks (extremely heavy...), get the food and equipment off the beach and carry all to Revdalen cabin as soon as possible. It took some hours and we took two shifts all in all. We went to bed exhausted around 4am. Here it doesn't matter when you work. There is always light.

4 June 2015

This is it. We are on board. Soon we will leave the bay and we will start to head South, towards Björnøya. The mixture of excitement and happiness is filling me inside. I'm looking forward to the best adventure.

3 June 2015

A big dinner at Huset (The House). Not a perfect place if you are a vegetarian... We had to spend some hours on packing and checking all the things. Quite ok, but nothing adventurous. Some other people are lucky and they get to Bjørnøya later, when everything is nicely prepared.

2 June 2015

Little auks, glaucous gulls.
Amazing! I love it already!
UNIS in Longyearbyen. Just even hearing or reading the words "Arctic expedition" makes me shiver from excitement :) oh wow...
Svalbard!!! Over the moon! Gosh I'm so happy and excited!
On the plane just now. I'm so excited and happy! Though there was a small incident at the airport ;) I TOTALLY forgot about my passport... At the time of going through customs, I had no idea where is it. Luckily it wasn't only me who made a mistake and had a passport in the registered baggage. Fannar, friend from Iceland that is also going to work with us also forgot about his. So we both had a very high stress level before departure, had to go through customs two times and run to the gate. All in all, we're on a plane now :) and we hope that our backpacks are flying with us!

31 May 2015

Polaria. Fun day at Polaria. First time I've seen the seals and some marine creatures. Very nice day. Today we're going to Longyearbyen. Wish me good luck and see you when I'm back in August!

29 May 2015

I hope I will not have the chance to use this knowledge. Today we practiced shooting and behaviour in case a polar bear is approaching. Quite cool stuff.

27 May 2015

I knew that it will be fun, but I didn't take that into account! Firstly we started with an introduction about rubber boats and engines and such. Then we practiced in the garage. And finally! We got our survival suits and we went offshore! Exciting and fun. I finally tried to drive a rubber boat. Pretty cool!

25 May 2015

Incredible. I fell in love. Again. That is the further most North I could get so far. Arctic circle. Gosh, I'm super happy!
Oslo Airport
Going further north!

24 May 2015

Feeling weird... I know the surroundings yet I feel as a stranger. Used to live here though.
Lund Central. Almost a year have passed since I've been here last time!
Øresund! Lund, brace yourself! I'm coming!
This is it. I'm leaving towards North. The true North. Firstly I'm going to Copenhagen. I missed my folks from Lund and Skåne! That will be an exciting expedition. Not a trip, not a typical fieldwork, true big expedition.