Page 22

Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14

were soaring above us amongst swirling seabirds. In ‘Eagle Bay’ I got the shots I hoped for as several young eagles wheeled around the boat. After two days at sea we cruised by the enigmatic ‘Bear Island’, shrouded in backlit mists, before moving on to Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group, docking in Longyearbyen. We wandered the small streets, bought souvenirs and braved the bombarding Arctic Tern colony on the outskirts of the village. We headed for the sled dog kennels and to the very outer limits of safety before ‘a man with a gun’ is required to accompany you for 22 www.fredolsencruises.com fear of bumping into a Polar Bear. Around us in all directions were the mountains and glaciers of the far north and the barren but inviting landscapes that challenge the mind. Next stop and yet even further north was the tiny research community of Ny Alesund, the northernmost What I did hope to photograph were White Tailed Sea Eagles – and I wasn’t disappointed. Norway has over 3,200 pairs community anywhere in the world. I photographed the glaciers and ice along with feeding Barnacle Geese and breeding Purple Sandpipers – both birds that join us here in Britain for winter. All too soon we were heading south again, passing grand and majestic mountain landscapes, ploughing through the waves and mists with the odd sighting of whales and dolphins. The pleasant town of Kristiansund was soon a blur behind us and we woke the next day anchored in the Nordfjord for our final stop of the trip, Olden. Elsewhere we had docked alongside a pier but this time we were in the middle of the fjord and had to use the ship’s tenders to get ashore: an operation which was carried out with the great efficiency that we had now come to expect from the crew. This would be a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a glacier, the Briksdal. Reached by a short bus trip and a steep and stimulating walk past raging waterfalls, we came to the mouth of the glacier itself. Photos in the village showed that the glacier, like many others, had receded in recent times but it was still beautiful to look up and gaze as it hung above the valley, blue and white with streaks of black, clinging to the rocky sides. It was amazing to think where the time had gone as we spent our final two days at sea before arriving back at Southampton, with many memories and some very satisfying images in the bag. I’d learned a lot throughout the two weeks and I hoped that I had imparted some of my knowledge, experience – and above all enthusiasm – to those who came along to the Neptune Lounge as I showcased the lectures and my own images, some of which I’d produced during the trip. Bring on the next Fred. Olsen cruise please! SPITSBERGEN


Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14
To see the actual publication please follow the link above