July 16 2013
Arrived at Franz Joseph Land (> 81º N., north of Nova Zembla)
Yesterday, July 15th, we arrived at about 24:00 in Franz Joseph Land!
The fog kept the country hidden from us for long while, but finally it lifted and the land loomed ahead. In the bay were 4 to 6 walruses (one with young) to greet us.
The journey had been long and so many of us looked contentedly at the land from the sea, at the sight of Franz Josef Land.
We found a lovely bay at Cape Flora. The other ships were not yet in the picture. The anchor went down and soon after the engine went off, and then …………..the silence and nature !!! This is what we came for!
The anchor watch was laid out and everyone slept soundly without seesaw of the ocean.
However, there was a turn on a layer of ice which Heinz did not trust. He took the first watch for us. Fortunately the large chunks of ice floated away from us and the skipper could sleep soundly.
This morning was our first breakfast together, and we enjoyed the location, between the islands and the glaciers to Hooker Island. Again, walruses and many birds (razorbills, guillemots, etc.). The large blocks of ice layers in the sea and were magnificent as were the views. The weather is quite cloudy, but sometimes the sun pierces through and the landscape presents itself from its most beautiful side.
We are now in the lee of a mountain and therefore sheltered from a fierce wind. Two other ships of the regatta lie next to us. We enjoy one of Julie’s delicious meals and then for land to gain foothold for the first time after more than a week at sea.
Greetings from all of us