Category Archives: Svalbard

‘I’ve never been so wet and cold’: Poor weather and illness ends month-long attempt to row from Svalbard to Greenland

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Even two days after the world declared the historic attempt to row across the northern Atlantic over due to a disabled boat and ill crew stranded by weather on a nearly deserted Arctic island, expedition leader Fiann Paul was refusing to give up.

Costly chase: Snowmobile guide fined 12K for disrupting polar bear; governor threatens travel ban where animals are

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A tour guide has been fined 12,000 kroner – and future tours are facing an arguably much harsher penalty – after disrupting a polar bear by leading a snowmobiling group too close to the animal, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Howler of a fish tale: 16.3kg northern wolffish caught in Icefjorden is largest ever hooked in Norway – by a lot

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Asgeir Alvestad’s got a whale of a fish tale, which is a good thing because trying to serve up his record-size catch as anything more than showcase would set off howls of protest.

Alvestad, 49, a Lillesand resident described in media reports as one of Norway’s most famous anglers, caught a 16.3-kilogram northern wolffish in Isforden last week, more than twice the weight of the previous record for the species in Norway.  He said he used a rod to catch the fish from a depth of about 300 meters.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 22, 2017

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City forces brewery forced to halt beer bingo, Friday evening gatherings
Svalbard Bryggeri is suspending its Thursday beer bingo and Friday evening social gatherings indefinitely because the city states the facility is not legally licensed for such activities.

A good paddling: MInd matters far more than muscle for novice joining landmark rowing expedition across Atlantic

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Tyler Carnevale, 23, had no rowing experience rowing boats and no knowledge about the five people planning to paddle across the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny craft. But an “interest in new challenges” motivated him to reply to an online ad seeking a sixth paddler and ultimately what was in his head mattered more than what was in his arms.

Beasts of burden: Volunteers discover ultimate price wildlife pays for trash, want others to see the deadly entanglements

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Several meters away from a large square of crude log benches were more than a dozen intact and shattered wine bottles were loosely grouped, two large sets of reindeer antlers were hopelessly snarled by a torn section of fishnet at one end and an far more tortuous snarl of steel cords at the other.

The debris’ fatal presence didn’t end with the reindeer who, like many other larger sea and land wildlife, were slowly starved of food, oxygen or some other life necessity. Kai Müller, a volunteer helping to clean the beach where the antlers were found, got metallic slivers in his eyes while carrying it on his shoulder – the kind of tiny fragments that kill multitudes of birds, fish and other small animals.

A huge piece of ship: Buyers on mainland reportedly want giant Santa’s mailbox, but the shipping costs are insane

Which is the harder challenge for Santa: traveling 1,050 kilometers per second to deliver all his gifts in one night or changing his mailbox address?

Let’s just say he’s done the first and his agents haven’t figured out how to do the second.

Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

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Maybe the photo above reveals why so few rainbows are seen in Longyearbyen. A rainbow stretching from the sea towards town earlier this month failed to make it across the road due to firefighters doing their duty at the scene. Pepa Beltran, a resident of Spain, suggests in a Facebook post the photo she took is about “fighting fires with rainbows,” but at least one commenter suggests it “looks more like they are fighting the rainbow…”

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

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Computer equipment stolen from former kindergarten
Computer equipment was burglarized from Longyearbyen Kindergarten between Friday night and Monday morning, according to The Governor of Svalbard. “We do not want to come out with details now, but there has been a burglary,” said Police Chief Lt. Marit Ellingsen. Police conducted an investigation of the site Monday and are seeking tips from the public. The kindergarten near Svalbard Church was closed , but the building is being used by the city Longyearbyen’s property department.

Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

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The deck of the M/S Langøysund tour boat caught fire in Isfjorden shortly before noon on Thursday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.but was extinguished by the crew a short time later with no major injuries to the 34 people aboard, but one crew member was treated at Longyearbyen Hospital for smoke inhalation.