Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The beginning of an Arctic Adventure

Up around Spitsbergen
Through absolute coincidence I managed to get a job as head chef on an ice breaker in the Arctic.  This all come about whilst doing my STCW 95 at the Mahurangi technical institute http://www.mti.net.nz/courses/maritime.html. One of the guys on the course worked on a ship up in the Arctic as well as Antarctica, his role to look after the guests on board, meet and greet and all that.  Anyway they had a chef shortage and needed a head chef in two weeks time to meet the ship up in Spitsbergen, all expenses payed to fly from N.Z to the top of the world and back.

The pale of pale blue on the icebergs through to the deepest of blues
 when looking straight down to the depths.

Well I am always up for a challenge and two weeks later I stepped on the plane to Spitsbergen, flying NZ, Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Tromso then finally over the Arctic Ocean to Spitsbergen landing in Longyearbyen township.

The fliet from  Tromso to Longyearbyen was amazing with flying in late April, there was all day and night sun so flying in at eleven o'clock I could see small, large icebergs scattered across the sea in a random dot to dot pattern. I found this an amazing site since the sea is usually free from anything apart from ships of course.

  The aeroplane was another thing, old, it seemed very old! and the plane could only travel in pure visibility
 due to having no technology on the plane or ground to fly other wise.  So we rattled over the freezing ice berged water and pretty snowflakes appeared on the round port holes of the plane.

  A mixture of nervousness, excitement, anticipation and oh my god what the hell and I doing here! cascaded through me.I was really entering the unknown, when I look back it seemed crazy! meet random man who gives me a job which I fly too and have no idea where I am going, who the people are on board and the ship has mainly Russian crew which is a whole other experience.

Russian crewman pretending to be the head chef, lol.
We landed after what seemed a relatively short fliet from Tromso, stepping out of the plane onto the tarmac, I was greeted by the crisp clear air.  Wow I was definitely in Russian territory, thoughts of my travels through Russia when I was 19 came flooding back.  Everything has a certain look to it, a feeling of being teleported back 50 years or more, and the bleak colour they seem to love the deepest dark green.  The prehistorical conveyor belt brought me my bags, the next four months was to be a true adventure filled with high, lows, new experiences, and many wonderful photos.

The photos have not been enhanced at all, the colours are as they where taken.  It is the land of light on top of the world.
An Arctic Ice Field

No comments:

Post a Comment