maandag 24 juni 2013

Travelling to Svalbard

Ruben Kocx, Martine van den Heuvel-Greve and Bas Bolman
23 June 2013

After saying goodbye to our families and friends we checked in at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 
Just as in 2012, this expedition is part of the Arctic Programme within TripleP@Sea, an investment programme of Wageningen UR aiming to develop tools to enable a sustainable use of the Arctic region. 

Svalbard from the air
This year we are a group of five: Martine van den Heuvel-Greve and Bas Bolman  from the Arctic Programme of IMARES Wageningen UR, Ariadna Szczybelski a PhD student on Arctic Indicators from Wageningen University, Ben Frederiks, a BSc student from Van Hall Larenstein, and Ruben Kocx, who is a camera man from HPM Video Productions. Ruben will be filming our research for a film that will be presented during a guest lecture at the minor Oil & Gas in Den Helder later this year. The film is financed by the Maritime Campus Netherlands and the European Fund for Regional Development. 

The flight to Svalbard requested one stop over in Oslo, Norway, where we spend a few hours waiting and discussing the film plan. On our flight to Svalbard Bas arranged that Ruben could shoot some footage of the cockpit, pilots and the first glimpse of the impressive snow-capped peaks of Svalbard.
Midnight sun
We arrived a little later than planned but safe and sound at the windy air strip of Longyearbyen at mid night. As we are a little later in the season than our expedition last year, most of the snow in Longyearbyen is already gone and the bare brown sides of the mountains are visible. The light was beautiful at night when we arrived at our guest house. Instead of a well-deserved bed, Bas and Ruben decided to immediately start filming the surroundings and spotted the first Svalbard reindeer and an Arctic fox.

A short night later we are now back at the airport for our final leg to the Dutch Arctic station at Ny-Ă…lesund. We are currently waiting for the low clouds to lift before the small Dornier can take off.

Ruben Kocx at work at midnight

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