Wednesday 5/10/2016 Tunabreen
4°C, 2m/s Sunrise 09:05 – Sunset 18:23
The Antigua remains anchored in front of the glacier. The day is overcast and raining which makes for dramatic cloud, drifting mist hanging in the mountains, the sea brown against a mass of luminous chunks of blue and white ice floating on its surface.
The Belugas reappear, five white backs breaking the surface in unison.
Last night I was sure we were moving since the boat was swaying so much. All that thudding and scrapping and shifting can now be attributed to glacial calving creating swell that rocked the boat. Most people go on the shore, a few remain inside writing or working on their computers.
I remain on deck and try to paint – not very successfully, but later I lean over the side of the boat and hoist up seawater in a bucket and add it to pastels and charcoal, and the drawings start to work.
|Tunabreen - glacier from the Antigua charcoal and graphite on paper|
|using charcoal and sea water|
|using ink, pastels and sea water|
Apart from the crew working or loitering on deck for a quick smoke I’m pretty much on my own. It’s peaceful; every so often there is a glacial calving, and we all stop and look towards the sound. I can never get to photograph one of these happening - you just never know when and where... but the sound is always startling and disturbing.
According to Wikipedia glacier carving is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption and caused by the glacier expanding, which causes the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier. The ice that breaks away can be classified as an iceberg, but may also be a growler, bergy bit, or a crevasse wall breakaway. I guess this depends on where it happens.
Everyone piles back onto the boat – lunchtime.
Later Ellis joins me on deck and we work side by side on the only table on deck, and we both marvel at the landscape and feel overwhelmed and wonder what on earth to do with it all.
|Ellis O'Connor and Janette Kerr - drawing on deck (pic by Spike)|
|charcoal and chalk and a bit of seawater|
Wind increasing, the boat swings and shifting, the view changing so my drawings become combinations of different vistas. I draw fast - even more so now we are moving to another location.
Early afternoon - anchor up, there are strong southerly winds. Three hours later we arrive at Gipsvika, 78°26,2´N, 016°25,9´E.
The snow has gone, the mountains dark, softened by hanging mist.
Around me others are occupied in their own tasks; a few draw, the poet and writers slowly pacing and pausing; sound artists donning headphones listen, photographers peer through cameras, tripods spread on ice and even in the sea, others just sit and look.
We gather on the shore in the gloom, awaiting the arrival of the zodiacs to transport us back to the Antigua. Photos It definitely feels colder – but probably because I’ve been sitting for so long on the ground drawing.
A few hardy folk stay to skinny-dip; I’m tempted but I’m not that mad! They don’t stay in very long.
It’s been a busy day, anchor up, we sail out of Isfjorden (which apparently is the largest fjord system in Svalbard), and travel north through the night.
|Night view - just before we raise anchor|
Out on deck I can see the far shore and lights of Longyearbyen again. Strange to see them; I feel such a long way from civilization, yet it’s only been two days. I love being out there in the dark. A sky full of stars; the northern lights are out again (not as strong as the previous time).