We left Longyearbyen yesterday and have sailed north and then anchored. Anchoring, I found, is actually quite an interesting process. So that we could see where the anchor is, we tied a fender to the chain, which floated on the surface giving us a marker. We also attached a rope to the end of the chain to act as a kind of suspension. This means that when there is a lot of wind and we anchor, the chain doesn’t yank at the bow of the boat; the rope makes the pull softer.
Nikolay left yesterday as well, he’s going straight back on to his boat from Northabout. So, with dad and Nikolay gone, we’ve reorganised where some people slee: Magnus is now sleeping in Dad’s cabin, Ellie is sleeping in Magnus’s cabin and David is sleeping in Nikolay’s bed. This doesn’t really affect me much. We’ve received word from dad now. He’s in Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge and is apparently doing fine, relatively speaking. He has an operation to plate and pin the break tomorrow (Wednesday 26th August). It will be three months before it is weight bearing and six months to full recovery.
Upon leaving Longyearbyen we noticed that there were a lot of seals in the fjord. I looked in the book on wildlife in Svalbard and I think that they were Harbour Seals. Actually, Svalbard’s wildlife was a big part of the day yesterday. When we are anchored, if you go outside, you have to have a good look around to see if there are any polar bears It’s slightly unnerving, having to, when you leave your house, make sure that you aren’t about to be attacked by a bear. Although we do have methods for repelling bear attacks, we have guns, obviously. Although before I this trip started I was asked by a surprisingly large number of people, but you wouldn’t actually shoot a polar bear would you? Unfortunately the answer to that question is: if it was running towards me then yes, I would shoot a bear. However, we don’t just have guns, we have a hand held fog horn to scare it off and we have a wonderful thing called Bear Spray, brilliant! It’s just really really strong pepper spray that you are supposed to use on Polar Bears. It’s not very nice for the bear but it’s better than shooting it.
I have tied up our next mascot from Longyearbyen, it’s a reindeer. We decided a while ago that we needed to get a sign that said “defend your right to arm bears” but unfortunately we haven’t found any that say that. We have also inflated our dingy now. It’s a little red rib with a five horsepower engine, it works well enough that we’ll be able to anchor and then go ashore in the rib.
As it turns out, there are a lot glaciers in Svalbard. We’ve just motored past a blue ice glacier, it looks really weird through the binoculars. I have taken up the job of getting pictures with my dad’s camera, this means that any pictures posted from now on will be horrible and blurry.
And welcome to the end of another example of my amazing skill in semi-factual literature. I will hopefully write another one tomorrow, I hope the tales of WBD’s (Weapons of Bear Destruction) aren’t too nasty, goodbye