Foundation II - Day Five
Updated: Oct 22
Having heard all about the crew on Foundation Expedition I doing a spectacular polar plunge at 80 degrees North, foundation II's Ocean Warrior crew were very keen to do the same. So this morning after breakfast all of them stripped off into their swimming wear and took the plunge. Rasmus got the sauna going and after a spectacular array of leaps, dives and diva actions, the crew was sufficiently cold to really enjoy the sauna afterwards.
Linden was sitting in the beautiful bay of Skansbukta with high mountains each side, a u-shaped beach surrounding us.
We went ashore to see the old mining works of a marble mine and a beached ship wreck. Ian took his big camera long lens to get some nice footage of the Reindeer that were munching the lush green vegetation on the mountain side whilst the rest of us investigated the relics and the hunters lodge that was at the end of the spit of land on the beach.
It always amazes me. How the stories of time get distorted. We were told on the boat that this was a marble mine and that it was created by an Englishman around the turn of the last century who mined the marble and shipped it to London, and by the time he got to London the marble had disintegrated, and was, therefore, rendered completely worthless.
Now this is a great story and totally believable. But when you look up the history of the mine, it was in fact a gypsum mine, built in 1918 by a Swedish entrepreneur interested in mining anything of value he could on the islands of Svalbard. And he thought it was gypsum. So he started the mining operation thinking that he had a valuable commodity. Actually it turned out to be anhydrite, not as valuable or saleable as gypsum so the mine soon closed down.
We were all amazed at how much time, effort and cost these workings must have taken to put in at such a remote place on Earth.
After lunch we weighed anchor and set sail towards the Russian mining town of Pyramiden. The weather was feeling colder and sure enough by the time we were entering the bay of Pyramiden, Mimerbukta, it was beginning to snow. As we anchored up, so the radio crackled into life with a very amiable Russian voice inviting us to the hotel, restaurant and café - perfect English and a very warm welcome which we would take him up on in the morning.
Keen to update everyone on Global Warrior’s Progress I gave a presentation in the evening.
Start: Skansbukta 78.52º N 16.03º E
Finish: Mimerbukta 78.65º N 16.38º E