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Hello, Arctic…here I come !

As you read this, I would have either just reached the northern most inhabited place on this earth – Longyearbyen – or set off aboard the MS Origo for a trip around Svalbard.


I would be itching to start my second trip into the seas here. To explore the various fjords, to gawk at the jaw dropping glaciers, to keep an eye open for the awe inspiring Arctic terns, be wary of the walruses and always…always, look out for the King of the North – the polar bear.


I almost didn’t make this trip.


Of late, a constant refrain in my head is “so many places to go to, so little time”. A couple of years back, I thought it might possibly a good idea not to repeat a place again. Instead, let me focus on going to a new place. Let me experience the breadth around the world instead of going deep in a few places.

Who knows how long any of these magical places will last under us humans’ rapacious

drive !


Let’s say, I got convinced rather easily to return to Svalbard.


Of course, who would not want to return to these waters and sit on the deck watching the spectacular landscape around ?


However, there was another simple reason behind my changing my mind.




Last time I had come in the last week of July, spilling into August. Usually a recommended time to come.




Global warming.


The weather was unusually warm and more importantly, there wasn’t much ice. Many of the polar bear photos we shot were with no sign of even snow in the background. The pack ice that the seas are famous for, and on which depends an entire ecosystem, was mostly missing.


This year, the plan is to leave earlier. In the first week of June. Hopefully, we should meet both pack ice and a lot of snow. And…most importantly, a bear at the same time !!


Questions galore are running in my head as I write this…


How cold will it be ?


Will the pack ice stay frozen till we reach ?


Will we get good sightings of the polar bear ?


Is not taking the 600mm lens this time a right call ?


Would I return with some ‘interesting’ shots ?


There is also the reassuring voice that says – all that doesn’t matter.


I will be back in the magnificence that is the Arctic.


With a bunch of good friends.

What more would one really want ?

A lot of white...and a bear in it...waiting for such a frame :) of my favorite birds...the Arctic tern...hope we meet again !

What a marvellous scene this was...

Ice...cross my fingers...wish there is more ice than this !

The gear...there is something new in there...can't wait to try it out !

Also, a few weeks back I was invited as a guest on this podcast which goes by a delightful name of Misadventures of a Sneaker and I had a rollicking time recounting stories from my travels.

Do give it a listen, give them a subscribe ( On Apple Podcast too ) : Link on Spotify :


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A good decision to repeat the trip to Svalbard and specifically, much earlier than than the earlier trip. Global warming ! Very evident in this part of the world. I am sure you would have had a great time. Waiting for your next post.

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Oh yes...made a big difference even if the place looked so utterly different. I got a quick download about your trip today...would have been good to have met you that evening we started :)

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