Kjerulfbreen Glacier

By Cape Farewell // Monday 24 Sep // 22:30:25 // No Comments


I’m starting to mix my days up already, it seems like weeks ago that I left London. We moored close to Trygghamna overnight, had breakfast and went ashore as I desperately tried to connect to the internet and send some text and images up before we head out to open sea. I’m very aware that none of us are going to be enthusiastically typing on this computer once the swell, waves and nausea kick in. Anticipation of this moment is building and hanging over us.


We took the zodiac into shore at the foot of the Kjerulfbreen Glacier. I looked up for the first time and noticed that we were surrounded by immense, black and white sketched mountains. A ringed seal surfaced in the fjord near the base of the glacier. This area has a 75 million year history that feels tangible. Dinosaur remains have been uncovered in the  valley. You could hear rock slides in the distance as we walked over Jurassic rock beaches, crunching history with every step. We discovered fern fossils embedded in rocks and slow forming ice crystals with long fingers spreading out from pebbles in the stream on the edge of the glacier.  It’s been 18 years since Ko was last here. In those 18 years the glacier that once covered the length of the shore has retreated 4 kilometers. Pretty fast moving in glacier terms and, as Carol explained, an unusual glacier form. It’s now imploding in on itself, collapsing in the middle, it’s edges hugging the rock mountains on either side. It’s obviously dynamic, but looks frozen in time.

Back on the Noorderlicht we set our watch schedules, left the protection of Svalbard and started our journey to Greenland. I’m on the graveyard 4-6am watch (and afternoon 4-6pm). A pod of dolphins joined us just before sunset.

Tags: Kathy Barber