Dear blog readers,
what yesterday seemed rather unlikely has come true: CLEOPATRA II arrived in Bjørnehiet, Rijpfjorden! In two flights, one at 09:00 and the second at 13:00, we were transported out by helicopter – and to our surprise together with all our luggage. Some modifications in the helicopter layout (read: removal of seats) and the fact that there are several hundred litres of heli fuel stored here made this possible.
Everything was well in the camp – no polar bear had destroyed the cabin, container or weather station. The first group started digging out the entrance to Bjørnehiet (the cabin) and “Sukkerbiten” (the portable cardboard housing box), which turned out to be an excellent replacement for some hour in the gym. Large amounts of snow, hard as concrete, gave us a really good exercise.
The rest of the day went for digging, digging, digging and general setting up the camp. Thanks to miracle-mechanic Einar, both Viking 540 two-stroke scooters started – after being stored away for 5 years in a container, alone in the wild, without any tender loving care. Impressive reliable stuff these things that look like a piece of junk.
It has been a long day, therefore only a short blog entry before collapsing into a coma. Since the battery in the worlds northernmost phonebooth ran empty, this entry will not be published before tomorrow (Thursday), but it will probably not the last time an entry is not submitted in time. Sorry for that, dear reader, we do our best to keep you entertained. Here are some pictures from the trip and our first day (all pictures are low quality because of limited bandwith – we will replace them once we are back).