Arctic Expedition of the Mahina Tiare III

Tromso, Norway to Svalbard
June 19 to July 3, 2001

Two images
of the Mahina Tiare III:
Left: lying alongside
a dock in Tromso, Norway
(wooden sailboat in foreground);
Right: underway,
in Magdalena fjord.

Arctic adventurers

Left to right, John Neal, Amanda Swan-Neal, Tom Hall, Liz McLoughlin

Left to right, Sergio Aquino, Al Maher, Larry Avins, Rich Ressman

Images from the adventure

Midnight on the Barents Sea,
June 21, 2001
longest day of the year.
Indeed, the sun does not set!

Just west of the south tip of Svalbard, we run into some pack ice .

With Amanda at the helm, John searches for a passage through the ice.
Then Amanda begins to push away the ice, using a modified wind surfer mast.

Once, we used the dinghy
as a tugboat,
nudging the ice
out of our way -
just for fun.

Some ice was really sculpture, ... some was much too big to mess with.

We anchor in a small bay
near two other sailboats
in Hornsund, to visit
the Polish Research Station.

We climb the path to the research station;
and chat with resident researchers, including Nina (at left),
an American doctoral candidate studying little auks.

A note pasted on a research room door shows the whimsical nature of the scientists here:

Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works, but no one knows why.
In this room, we are combining theory with practice.
Nothing works, and no one knows why."

Near the station
stands a cross in memory of all who died in & around Hornsund,
including the crew of a crashed helicopter. A jagged helicopter fragment
is nailed above the carving at the base of the cross.

After admiring ice sculptures
at the sea's edge,
we carry the dinghy
to head back to our boat.

Ny Alesund sported a small train, which Tom commandeered. In the past, the train was used to haul coal.

This sign wasn't kidding.
This tern is mellow, but the terns dive-bombed us incessantly on most of our walks.
We have no photos of terns attacking,
as we were too busy laughing and protecting our heads!
The sign suggests holding a stick upright - but not swinging it - above the head.

We hunt for fossils
in the run-off from this glacier.
We find remains
of prehistoric animals
embedded in stones,
like the one below,
which contains
all kinds of vertebrates,
shells, and maybe fish!

Farewell to Svarbard:
Liz shows what she can do with her right arm
(in her "Active Care Sports Medicine" T-shirt);
Tom awaits a 2:45 AM!! pick-up
in front of Longyearbyen hotel to go to the airport - to SF.

These are but a few images of an extraordinary adventure;
For a full text and photo account of trip, check out Mahina Expeditions.

Last updated on 8/6/01

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