These pictures were taken on the West and North coast of the Svalbard Island Group, while on a cruise during the summer of 2015 with "Nordstjernen" (The North Star), an old ship that used to serve "Hurtigruten", the Norwegian coastal traffic between Bergen and Kirkenes for goods and passengers. The lattitude of these waters are between 70 and 80 degrees North.

Being on a ship, good compositions were difficult, but The Subject were normally mountains, glaciers, and floating ice in the water. While on land, we were on the move, herded by guides carring guns to protect us from ice bears, that roam the entire island group. And the threath is real.

We were lucky for the most part to get very nice weather, with sunny skies and very calm water. One day we got 16 C on the aft deck, while 9 C was recorded in Oslo at 60 degree lattitude. In fact, the waters was so calm due to lack of currents and wind, that a RIB was parked by itself, just sitting there dead in the water waiting to be picked up later. And of course. the Midnight Sun was in place!

The Dutch were active around 1650 - 60, hunting whales from open boats and processing the whale fat. They called the island for Spitsbergen, literally the "sharp, pointed mountains", which is very true along the Western coast.