Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas

Anna left for Christmas vacation in Iceland on the 15th of December, while I came over on the 23rd. My parents are also here. We already had a good Christmas eve with delicious food and and good company. Today there is another big family party and this will continue for some more days.
The swimming-pools are closed for some days, which is a big loss for a person like me, who loves the warm waters of Iceland. The weather has been very changing with snow, wind, rain, frost and heat. Most of the time snow, though. The whole of Iceland is covered in a white blanket of snow.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lunar eclipse

Today we had a full lunar eclipse on Svalbard and absolutely no clouds.
Anna and I dressed up in scooter suits and brought camera and a thermos with hot tea, enjoying the magic scenery from the slopes of a mountain.


Tonight we have an other Christmas party, this time with my company and then we have dinner guests tomorrow for some Icelandic lamb;0)

Kautokeino

Last week-end some of my colleagues and I had to go to Kautokeino, the sami kapital of Finnmark in northern Norway. I took Anna with me, so she could also see some daylight and a new part of Norway. The reason for our trip was a meeting with the drilling company helping us with the drill cores for our exploration work. At the same time they had julebord, which is a Christmas party. I t was very nice, with cozy people, excellent food and they even had an out-door jacuzzi:0).

The journey was long. First a plane from Svalbard to Tromsö, then a new plane to Alta and then we got picked up by a sami and driven to Kautokeino.
Sunday we drove back to Alta and then we flew to Tromsö, where we stayed at a nice hotel and had a drink at "Rorbua" a new bar in the old fishing house style. Monday morning we had a few hours in Tromsö to see the town before flying back to Svalbard, cold, darkness and snow;0

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Northern-light

This late evening I suddenly saw some northern-light. This was the first time with soma major amount up here this fall. It is much better around Tromsö and Mestersvig, but it is not bad here;0)

It was minus 17, no wind, no clouds and an almost silence...

Friday, 25 November 2011

jo-jo temperatures

For the last week we have had some jo-jo temperatures in town. For almost two weeks we had temperatures between -10 and - 15 degrees, but then it changed and we had 5 days with temperatures around +4 degrees, making everything slippery, but luckily it did not melt all the snow;0). Last night the temperature started dropping and now we have -13, so I am a happy boy now. The young ones are driving around on their snow scooters, but the more clever ones are waiting for more snow so the equipment will not be destroyed...

I added a new link in the web-cameras. It is a new 360 camera situated at "Bykaia" the port of the town. I really like these, due to high quality and as an excellent viewer of the present weather situation and what is going on!

This week-end I will help my colleague to start building a sauna...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Rovaniemi

Santa Claus ad the exploration team

Last week I was in Rovaniemi in Finland. Rovaniemi is a fairly large city in Lappland. We (the Geologists in the company) where going there to meet up with the rest of the exploration team from Norway and Finland.
On Monday we flew in to Tromsö and from there we drove to Levi, a 5 hours drive. After a short sleep we drove the last 2 hours to Rovaniemi. For the next days we had meetings discussing databases and plans. Thursday we had lunch at Santa Claus park where we met Santa Claus and had out photo taken, this was a once in the life-time opportunity;0)
Thereafter we drove straight to Tromsö, which took 7 hours. Most of the way there was little day-light, the landscape was fairly flat, with trees every-where and loads of reindeer...
After a night in Tromsö with good food we flew back to Longyearbyen...
Tromsö to Rovaniemi

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Wales

Caernefon castle and a pub


My colleagues
Last week I was in Wales and Anna in Copenhagen. Both of us had a great time. Wales is a beautiful place with many hills, valleys, sheep and castles. The food was delicious and the ale as well. We learned a lot on the course and got a sound knowledge of bore-hole logging. The tide water difference is a staggering 8.2 meters!

Caernfon castle
The dark time has set while we where away so now the sun will not be visible above the horizon before March 8th;0).

This week I have been on an other course, in GIS at the University here in Longyearbyen, while Anna has been working 3-4 hours a day.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Darker and colder..

Anna will also be going away on Friday. She will be visiting friends and family in Copenhagen, while I am in Wales. Then we will meet up in Oslo Thursday next week to visit my parents. No need to hurry back to Svalbard just to have a week-end in the dark;0)

Sunrise today is 10.00 and sunset at hrs 1520.
Yesterday was a cold day with temperature around -11, but today the temperature rose to -4, probably due to bad weather with snow and wind, which is reported to come in the afternoon...

Anna is happy with her new job. Now she has a better chance of learning Norwegian, meeting new people in town and having something to do during the day, getting pocket-money and getting connected to the different companies in town.

Since last week one of my friends from Sirius has been here, but he lives with another guy from Sirius who just moved up here with his family, to work with tourists using dog-sledges. My friend will leave on the same plane as us on Friday.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Anna got a jobb!

Thursday morning Anna was called to an interview. She got a job and started right away. The work is only temporary, but it could be something more...
She is working at Svalbard Reiseliv, http://www.svalbard.net/
This is the tourist information in Svalbard is also booking trips for many of the tourist companies in town. Her work place is situated in the same house as the University.

I am doing office work, doing work with a database for our drill holes and on Friday I am going to wales for some days, together with two of the other Geologist to learn to use some logging equipment. This will be exciting...

It is also getting darker and darker here and cooling down...
-9, Sunrise 09:40, Sunset 15:42.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

back again

Finally some news from my part of the world;0)
On the 31st I went to Iceland to meet Anna and to see our new apartment, which was rented out the same day. We spent a week in Iceland, looking at my glacier, visiting friends and family and spending a lot of time in the hotposts, which I have missed a lot.
Then we flew to Norway and my parents, only to stay there for 2 days before leaving for some vacation in Nice, southern France. This was a warm and beautiful place and we saw a lot of things and got some delicious food. We also met my aunt who had rented a house with a swimming pool in Provence which was very nice.
The same day we came back to Norway we drove down to my brother in SW Norway to see their new house and visit them. After two days there we went back to my parents place and stayed there for a few days before moving to Svalbard. Anna is now the house-wife while I am working;0), but she is looking for a job...
The frost has just begun and today the snow is pouring down...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

life in the mines

View from Svea

For about  one and a half week i have been on a introduction course for new employees in Store Norske. Some of the others had bareley been in Svalbard for a few days, while a few like myself has been here for several months. The course goes through a lot of different topics like safety rules, first aid course, a tour in both Svea Nord and Mine 7. We also spent 3 days in Svea, which is a very nice place, with 4 meals a day and a stunning view.

My life as miner
Longwall mining
On Wednesday we had the last day of the year with midnight-sun, from that day we loose 40 min of day-light every day. I have started to feel it since it is now necessary to turn on the lights in the apartment.

The town has begun to fill up with kids again. Most of them have been on vacation on the mainland with their families, bringing back germs to the island. This has left me with the flue, which doesn´t really fit into my program at the moment ( but when does it ever fit???). There will be some busy days at the office and in the field the next days, because I leave on 3 weeks of vacation from Wednesday. I will go to Iceland for one week and then spend some time in Norway and maybe a warm place with Anna.
Last day of midnight-sun

Thursday, 11 August 2011

First snow;0)

Today when I woke up the weather was pretty sour. It was windy, foggy and rainy in town, but in the mountains the first snow had already settled. It is a bit early so it will probably not last for long, but one never knows. August is the month where summer turns into fall...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

mine visit

yesterday we had some good weather and flew out in the helicopter to clean up the drill sites. there is always some rubbish left, like drill pipes, hoses, paper and sticks. this is not allowed to be left in the terrain. Suddenly we got some fog, but the pilot was good so we did not have to spend the night on the mountain;0)





Today the weather was bad with fog and rain. Therefore a visit to mine 7 was on the schedule;0)
A magazine was visiting so they needed a geologist to be with them. we drove to the bottom of the mine, some 7-8 km inside the mountain. the roof is only 1.5 m here and a bit cramped up. we drove in tiny cars called ohlemann, where you have to be certain to keep your head low, in case you don´t n want a serious head-ache...

we looked at all the different equipment in the mine and talked to the miners. a good day! after the mine visit i showed them our core storage and helped our students with cleaning up in the storage...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

update on the bear...

The polar bear which attacked the British school children was only 250 kg and had no food in its stomach and therefore very hungry. The trip wires which had been put up surrounding the camp did not work, therefore the children got no warning of the attack before it was inside one of the tents. The group only brought one riffle which did not work properly, neither did a flare pen. The riffle clicked 4 times, before a fifth try was initiated by one of the wounded leaders and this time a single bullet hit the head of the bear, leaving it for dead amongst the tents and wounded people...

This was a tragic outcome for the students and a reminder to everyone that the Arctic is a dangerous place where precautions have to be taken at all times. This could have happened to everyone...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sólheimajökull 2010

I still work on my glacier now and then, it is like my little baby;0)

Polar-bear attack...

Early this morning a polar-bear attacked a group of British students, just 40 km away from our town of Longyearbyen. The bear was a male, weighing 250 kg. One student got killed and four others got seriously injured. The students where a part of a 13 person group staying in a tent camp close to a glacier.

It is tragic and sad that this happens.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14415592

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Finally...

Dancing in the midnight sun
Finally you (and I) would say, I am writing something on my blog. I see my last entry was June 2nd. I got a new internet connection now, allowing me to update my blog and a little bit more time;0)

We found coal...
There has been quite some work in my end, drilling in the mountains to find out if there was any cold and at which depths. We ended the drilling season on the 15th of July and since then we have been doing some field work. This basically means that we climb around steep to very steep slopes to find outcrops of coal. these outcrops are then cleared with shovels so we can estimate the thickness and altitude of the coal seams. Later the positions are verified with the use of DGPS (differential GPS) which narrows the uncertainty of the position to less than 10 cm. Most of the days we have been out we had really good and "warm" weather, so it was actually possible to get a tan. So i really like my job, except for the steep parts of the slopes. My brain doesn´t like the possibility of falling 500m, neither does my body...

Fram in the ice in the harbour
Soon field season will be over. I have a course for almost 1 1/2 weeks going through the company structure and visiting the mines.
A few weeks ago a lot of sea ice drifted into our fjord, blocking the entrance to the fjord and the harbour. This was bad for the cruise traffic, but I think it fits in the Arctic environment;0). It also brought several polar bears to the outskirts of town, but they where chased away by the Governour so the rest of us could not enjoy this sight...

Field area
 I am so lucky that I get some vacation:0). I will travel to Iceland around September 1st and stay there for a week or so, taking over our apartment, moving some stuf, meeting Anna and sleeping in the hot-pots (which I MISS a lot). Then we will have some time in Norway and maybe go to a warm place...
One happy geologist

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Fog and clouds...

The last week has given us a lot of fog and clouds, making it difficult to fly in the helicopter to the drill-site.
Snow melting is at full speed in the town and the close vicinity of it, but further out in the valleys there is a lot of snow, the problem is getting there, since it is illegal to drive on ground not covered by snow. Which is understandable;0)
Taken from my living room and across the fjord. This is the coal pier in Longyearbyen.
At the moment I am the only geologist on duty, the others are away for some vacation, making me in charge of the business...
Monday was my birthday, so after spending the whole day at the office, weather cleared up a bit so we flew up on Operafjellet (950 m a.s.l) and measured snow depth and put up sticks for the drilling at this place, later this spring. The temperature up there was above 0 degrees and the snow was wet. Then we went to Kroa and had a good dinner to celebrate. Tuesday i brought a cake to the office, since the bakery did not have time to bake me one on Monday.

Unfortunately the very good web camera from Longyearbyen has been Coded, so I can not access it anymore, but I added some new cameras.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

back in Svalbard;0)

Malte and his scooter
Since I came here to Longyearbyen, Svalbard I have been quite busy. I already moved to a second appartment, luckily in the same house and will probably have to move to a more permanent apartment when Anna comes here in august/September...
Malte and Alexander putting up one of the basestations for the DGPS
My colleagues in the firm are all very nice to me and show a genuine interest in new people, so the feel welcome in the firm;0)

I got a good office and a huge computer so I can do some work. for the first 3 days I went with my colleagues Malte to the University where he was teaching a about coal geology to a small class and I had the possibility of freshening up and learning some more! We even went into one of the coal mines -  avery dark and cramped place!
Me in the scooter outfit
Malte and I had a good day on snow scooters to Svea (60 km), where our main production is. We were measuring the precise position of some boreholes with the help of DGPS stations. The weather was fantastic and i love my job;0)
We have also gone with the helicopter to the drill site, which is situated at a mountain at 925 m elevation to log the drill cores and move the drill site. Due to fog and white out we almost got stuck on the mountain, but the pilots where good so we managed to get home...
The view from Lunckefjellet drill-site down on Marthabreen
During the time I spend in my office I read a lot of articles to bring my geological knowledge up to date in coal geology.

The drill-site




Retrieving the cores

I have met a lot of people in town from all my years in Svalbard. Is is good to have friends when starting to work in a new place;0) Time passes by so quickly, I have already been here for 2 weeks, and next week I will have a lot of responsibility - to control the core drilling sites...
Our ride, the B3 helicopter

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Adjusted blog

Today I have added a link to a 360 degree web camera from Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
Also the link to my pictures will be removed in the end of this month as the company running it are closing down, so either I have to find a new way of storing pictures or I will have to add more pictures on the blog :0(

left Iceland for a long time...

Today I left Iceland for a very long time, to attend to my new job as a geologist in the coal mine on Svalbard. Svalbard is a group of island almost 2000  km north of Iceland, covered by 60% of glaciers.

Leaving Iceland i felt like Gunnar of Hlidarendi felt 1000 years ago, (Njåls Saga)
"Fair are the hillsides, so fair as I have never seen them before,
the pale meadows and just-mown hayfields.
I am going home and I will never leave again."


The only difference is that I left Iceland to a new future instead of the death which Gunnar faced. I will often come back to Iceland to enjoy this beautiful and exciting country, my family and friends and my apartment;0)

I will be staying in Norway at my parents place until Saturday when I will fly north to Svalbard...

Monday, 9 May 2011

good bye dinner

Saturday night I invited my mothers sister and brothers and Annas parents to dinner, as a way of saying good-bye to everyone for the time I have been in Iceland.
I spent most of the day grocery-shopping, preparing the starter, which was scallops wrapped in parma ham with pan fried pumpkin seeds in lemon juice.
As a main course i made fillet of lamb in the oven with a sauce of mint gel in white-wine, served with oven baked potato wedges, melted mozzarella cheese, sweet-potatoes and a mixture of feta-cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
For desert i made a large cake chocolate-coconut cake filled with cream, strawberries and blueberries.

while all the cooking was being done, Anna was working on her master thesis, which she has to hand in on Thursday...

Altogether we where 14 people and then there was the dish-washing afterwords...
But we had a great night and good fun

The car got some problems when we went to the swimming-pool. We opened the window, but it did not close again:0(. Something has broken inside the frame, so I had to tape some plastic to the window to keep bad weather outside and then we can take the car to the mechanic tomorrow. Today they did not have available time!
 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Polar bear again again...

This morning a polar bear was sighted by some fishermen in the north east of Iceland, close to the Hornstrandir area. The coast guard helicopter was called to the area and brought the police, people from the ministry of environment and others. After searching for the animal it was found in difficult terrain and foggy area. It was then decided to shot the bear, as the risk of loosing it was to great - this could then leed to the bear travelling to habited areas...

While all of this was going on I decided to go and have a final look at my glacier, before I leave. The weather was great, between +13 to +18 degrees, so I could walk around in t-shirt and enjoy a little bit of field-work. The glacier is still getting smaller, but it will exist for many years to come...

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Apartment and snow

Today we got the good news that Anna and I have bought an apartment in Seltjarnarnes, Reykjavik, Iceland. During the last 10 days or so we have been making offers back and forth with the owners, but today the owners settled with a price we thought was good for us.

The apartment is in a house with only three apartments, it is the top most one, 107m2, and has a garage of almost 30m2 and the some additional storage-rooms in the basement. The view and the location is excellent and is just perfect.                    To bad we have to live in a small coal-mine apartment in Svalbard;0). It will be good to be in Svalbard and pay down the small loan while being abroad!



This afternoon summer did not show up, but king winter did - temperature dropped to -1 and heavy wet snow has been falling since then. Maybe there is a chance for some skiing tomorrow;0)

Saturday, 23 April 2011


I have already started packing my things which has to go to Svalbard. Some things like books and summer clothes will be left behind in Iceland, as well as the cars (which will probably be sold). Arriving in Svalbard I will get a 42 square meter apartment fully equiped. Anna is handing in her master thesis in tourism on Tuesday and then she will have to finish working in the company. Therefore she will not be able to join me in Svalbard until the end of July or early August. Then she will have some time to get used to the fact that she is moving far up north and I can also focus 100% on my new and exciting job in the business of mining geology;0).

When Anna joins me in Svalbard, we will get a larger apartment. This one will be empty so we will have to empty the nearest IKEA-store which is in Oslo, Norway and stuff it all together with x number of boxes of clothes and equipment into a container and ship it to Svalbard...

I am trying to get Icelandair to open up a flight-route from Reykjavik to Svalbard, to shorten the travel on vacation to Iceland, reduce the price and make it easier for visitors, but i hardly think they will do this favour to us;0)

The weather here in Iceland has been quite bad and changing in April, with snow, sun, rain, sleet, wind - all in the same day - several times a day!

Friday, 15 April 2011

I got a job!!!!

In the end of March i flew to Svalbard again for two job interviews, one as a logistican at the Norwegian Polar Institute and one as an exploration geologist in a coal mining company. It is not every day that i fly alost 10 000 km for some job interviews;0)

Yesterday I got the good news that i have been offered a job as an exploration geologist at SNSK (Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompagni) on Svalbard. I will be doing everything from drilling cores, planning drill sites, logging cores, working with GIS, office work etc. all  of this in an Arctic region.
This will be great and I am sure I will learn a lot...

My new job will start May 15th, so now I have to pend the time wisely. I have to do some packing and sorting out what to bring with me, maybe buy an apartment here in Iceland, sell my car etc...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

News from the cold...

Since my graduation I have been applying for jobs and currently I am awaiting answers on my applications.
My aunt Hidda also graduated with a master from the University, and she held a great party with good food and drinks and even an opera-singer. Some pressure on my party to come...;0) I met a lot of members of my family which I haven´t seen for a long time, from when I was about 1 meter tall;0)

The weather in March has been quite miserable, apart from the last couple of days, when snow has been pouring down in Reykjavik and the cold has gripped the land in its firm hands. The ski resort of Bláfjöllum, just outside of Reykjavik has gotten enough snow and opened up. To great enjoy of Guðmundur, Annas father and me who went skiing yesterday. Though it was quite windy and the snow was blowing around us it was sunny and -12 degrees and we had some good hours at the resort, Guðmundur on down-hill skis and i on telemark (one of the few).

I have also met with my cousin Stebbi, from Norway, taking pictures of stormy weather and going to the swimming-pool. I have spent quite some time going to the gym and to the swimming-pools and taking pictures, while Anna is at work and writing her thesis. Then it is good for her to have a "houseman" at home taking care of laundry, cleaning the apartment, making dinner and fixing the cars...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Graduation

Finally the official business of graduation or "utskrift" as it is called in Iceland is over. It was on Saturday, in the large cinema close to the University. Anna came with me and almost everyone in there had dressed up in their finest clothes :0)
We were 460 students graduating, both on Bachelor and Master level.
Usually the students have parties at home with all their friends and family, but i decided to do it later when i have more time to plan the party.


Now Anna wants to finish her master so she can walk in to her Graduation in high heels and a new dress;0). So while she is working on her thesis after work, i am applying for jobs and awaiting answers and taking care of the duties at home...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Back to Reykjavik...

Tomorrow i will fly back to Reykjavik, after helping my parents for almost 14 days. we have moved most of the house, so now there is onlythe beds and the tv left;0)
i had some good days here, though i never managed to go skiing due to all the moving...
i guess i will have to try out the skiing in Iceland, if it hasn´t melted away again...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Oslo...

Since i came back from Svalbard i have been in Oslo helping my parents moving from the old house to a new (renovated). there is a lot of stuff which has piled up during 31 years in Norway, including my stuff. my mother keeps saying this is yours and this and this... but i have nowhere to move it as i have no place of my own. i guess i better need to hurry up and buy something big to live in...

the weather has been a lot of snow and now it is really cold, -20 and great sunny weather...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Longyearbyen, Svalbard in 40 hours...

Sunday morning i went to Longyearbyen on Svalbard to attend a job interview at the UNIS (university of Svalbard) working with logistics. the interview was on Monday morning, so i spent Sunday walking a bit around, but as the sun is still below the horizon it was pretty dark. i managed to find my way to the pub where i got some dinner and a beer and met some of my friends who happened to drop by and found my in a corner...

On my way back home i felt a bit sick (no not the beer), and after returning to my room i had to make a "call" into the toilet and this kept on all night, before i finally got some hours of sleep. not the best way of starting a job interview, but i managed to make my selves decent and talked to the people for 1 1/2 hours. we were only 2 out of 41 applicants who got an interview.

The rest of the day i spent by visiting old friends at UNIS and at my former work place of Spitsbergen travel, before walking home and having a yogurt and a roll for dinner. Line and Tessa, whom i guided with in Antarctica visited my for waffles and tea in "peisestuen" at the hotel and later on my friend Endre came by too.

Tuesday morning i had a conversation with one from NP about another job, then i had lunch with my friend Hilde at Rabalder, the new culture house in town and then it was time to fly to Oslo and my parents. on the plane i met Gro, who i was guiding with in Antarctica and we could spend some hours in Tromsö eating and talking before our planes departed...