Day 1 – In the pocket

3 March 2018 by Julie Brown

Our Polar Experience Spitsbergen Expedition Team has established camp.  Day 1 is in the pocket. 

Under clear skies and virtually no wind, our determined explorers set foot upon a glare ice terrain as they departed Longyearbyen and headed out into the Adventalen, a wide valley leading west from the settlement.

They progressed for just under six hours and established camp this evening in temperatures hovering around -15°C.


Their current location:

N 78° 11 26

E 16° 04 48

Dixie reported that everyone advanced quite well, especially for a group comprised mostly of polar novices.  Several participants were understandably tired and a bit cold this evening, but were treated with care by Dixie and our experienced co-guide, Rob Vercauteren.  The team will commence with revolving bear watch duties starting at 22:00 and lasting through 06:00 tomorrow morning.  Each tent will be responsible for a 2-hour shift, allowing one tent each night to sleep uninterrupted.

Bear watch duty provides an excellent opportunity to keep an eye out for Aurora Borealis.  It was agreed upon that everyone would like to be awakened should the Aurora begin to dance.

While tonight’s forecast for the Northern Lights is relatively low, we know from experience that they can begin their magnificent show at any time.

The first night in a polar tent camp requires a mindset shift and an allowance for adaptation into the raw environment. Dixie was very pleased to report that “All is well!” and is excited to provide more news tomorrow as the team proceeds with Day 2 of their expedition.

The spirit was high at the start of the expedition and we expect it to continue.  In the meantime, we wish our explorers “Sweet dreams.”