After exploring the southern parts of Bjørnøya, we raised our sails and made our way around the wild, rocky shore to the north of the island to visit the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Despite the wind howling through the rigging and big waves crashing on the rocks all around us we decided to put down the anchor and left Widdershins, our yacht, alone and quite exposed to the elements, while we went ashore at Herwighamna. The welcome at the station was very warm, and after spending so many days without showers and proper heating we felt quite out of place in the cozy, warm living room, being served coffee and cake and shopping for souvenirs. And of course we also hadn’t paid any attention to the date and were quite surprised to hear that it was the 23rd of June, Midsummer, the longest day of the year.
To celebrate this appropriately the crew of the station (seven men, two women) had completely demolished their old garage and put together a huge bonfire. The roaring fire was accompanied by a lovely, very Arctic barbecue, beer and cake. What a nice way to say goodbye to the bear island!