06-07 Alkhornet

we approach the bird cliff at Alkahornet

7th.June: Alkhornet

During lunch, we cruised from Tordenskjoldbukta to Alkhornet (Alkepynten). At Alkhornet we saw even more reindeer walking along the pinnacle. Barnacle geese flew overhead and in the gras some pink-footed geese were walking. The long hikers were quite close to a rockfall at the bird cliff, this was a bit scary. After a lovely walk some of us joined the polar plunge. The air temperature was around 4 degrees and the water temperature around 1 degree. Some of us decided to be a little bit crazy and go for a swim, while the others could slide down to the landing site.

The barnacle goose is a medium-sized goose, 55–70 cm (22–28 in) long, with a wingspan of 130–145 cm and a body mass of 1.21–2.23 kg. It has a white face and black head, neck, and upper breast. Its belly is white. The wings and its back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars that look as if they are shining when the light reflects on them. Barnacle geese breed mainly on the Arctic islands of the North Atlantic. There are five populations, with separate breeding and wintering ranges. Those breeding on Svalbard winter on the Solway Firth on the England/Scotland border. Barnacle geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs, away from predators (primarily Arctic foxes and polar bears), but also away from their feeding grounds such as lakes and rivers. Like all geese, the goslings are not fed by the adults. Instead of bringing food to the newly hatched goslings, the goslings are brought to the ground. The parents show them the way to jump from the cliff and the goslings follow them by instinct and take the plunge.

Back on the ship, warmed up again we joined the expedition team to captain’s farewell and the slideshow. After the slideshow we had our last dinner onboard. Different to all the other evenings it was plated. The food was just delicious.

Tordenskjoldbukta (Marstrandoddon) and Alkhornet (Alkepynten)

Hiking in Switzerland and around the world