July 19, 2020 (42nd day)

“After a crossing of two and a half days from Tromsø, we reach Bjørnøya – Bear Island in the middle of the morning.

Located 120 miles south of Svalbard, Bear Island was once a landmark for whale and walrus hunting, as evidenced by an old radio station converted into a museum. A few red houses, a short ground track, the welcome by an inhabitant is done from far away, health measure obliges. It indicates some key places not to be missed. Surprisingly, nearly 700 lakes are to be counted on this small island of 178 km².

It is also a true sanctuary for migratory birds, and our brief stopover on land was an opportunity for us to observe puffins, parasitic jaegers, fulmars, glaucous gulls and common eiders. Our onboard sketch artists were delighted: notebooks, pencils and sketches came out once the anchor was dropped.

We start sailing again at midnight, ending our brief stop. Next stop – Longyearbyen.”