Page 2 of Crannster Travel Blog Posts

Oceans and Seas » Arctic April 19th 2018

The Geographic North Pole… “Trying to set foot upon it is like trying to step on the shadow of a bird that was circling overhead. The surface across which we were moving was itself moving on a planet that was spinning around an axis.” Sir Wally Herbert, on Reaching the North Pole, 1969. Imagine an empty expanse of white. A frozen crust of sea-ice floating over the mighty depths of the Arctic Ocean - in a world that had only one day per year. At the Geographic North Pole, the sun sets on the Autumnal Equinox and does not rise again until the Spring Equinox. This period of dark is followed by six months of circling light. There is only one annual cycle of day and night. I arrived in early morning - April. It was ... read more
Ninety North
Pole Position
At the North Pole

Europe » Svalbard » Spitsbergen April 17th 2018

“On Earth’s part all days start beautifully. Patiently it revolves and revolves with its trees and oceans and lakes and deserts and volcanoes. The two of us, the rest of you, and all of the animals.” Petur Gunnarsson. One… Whilst staring at the walls of Keflavik Airport, Iceland… The Phone Call Theresa and I had just driven halfway across a continent! From Canada's easternmost province of Newfoundland & Labrador on the wild shore of the Atlantic to the central prairies of Manitoba. Ten hours a day for six days! We'd been back in Winnipeg for less than an hour when my cell phone rang... "Got plans for the weekend?" Said the operations manager. "Nothing planned. What's up?" My curiosity raced, as I knew this could be only one of a couple of things. There was a ... read more
Lonely Road
Bears at Night?
The Road to the Mine

The Falklands are a magical place. Here are a few pics of the islands. One of these days I will add some more text - maybe... Dave... read more
Magellanic Penguins
Magellanic Burrow
Living Together

Antarctica » Antarctica February 27th 2018

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in the water… Its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past, and prepares the future.” Lorne Eisley There was a partial eclipse of the sun visible from the outer decks. Although the event was nowhere near as dramatic as a total solar eclipse, it was still quite the spectacle as half the sun vanished behind our lonely moon. A hundred folk came outside to brave the winds of the wild southern seas to witness this Antarctic eclipse. After a few moments it was over, the sun returned to its normal splendour and shone unimpeded until it set. Most folk went back inside to the comforts of a warm ship, but some did not. Many guests stand out on the decks for hours every day searching for ... read more
Hanusse Bay
Chinstraps at Hydrurga Rocks

South America » South Georgia February 15th 2018

“Above all else we wish that the name of South Georgia will forever represent an icy paradise, a place where nature is still mostly robust and the way of life of millions of birds ,and seals goes on almost unaltered by the peripheral presence of humans. A clean, pure spring of icy water in our collective consciousness, a soothing, refreshing balm amid the upheavals wrought upon the earth. A special place to cherish.” Tim & Pauline Carr. Paradise is a term we typically use to mean peace, quiet, relaxation or perfection… I think paradise is a hostile place - a place where we cannot live as mere humans - which is why it is a paradise. This paradise has a fluctuating equilibrium. Balance is chaos - and everything we do in efforts of conservation has neither ... read more
The Wanderer
King Intensity
King Penguins

Antarctica » Antarctica January 27th 2018

I was asked if I had any monkey products… …It took my mind took a few seconds to register… Monkey problems? Money problems? Monkey products? Excuse me, what, I’m sorry, what was that?… “Oh yeah, there’s been an increase in illegal monkey products crossing international borders recently.” Said the border official at London, Gatwick. “Well that sounds a little weird.” I replied. “Products are coming in from all over the world nowadays, especially Asia.” The official responded. “Wow! I did not know that.” With a baffled expression I’m sure? I assured him that monkeys weren’t native to where I’d just been, and even trees were quite the rarity in the frozen north. I also checked to see if my belt was made of leather rather than gibbon. I didn’t mention that I’d eaten a banana with ... read more
Antarctic Sky
Adelie Double
Big Ice

North America » Greenland » South Greenland September 24th 2017

Next year we will practise havoc, In that green trench. The saws will yammer their nagging dirge, The donkeys will gather the corpses, The land will be hammered to stumps and ruin... Peter Trower, The Ridge Trees. Despite living in a treeless domain, I actually, somewhat like the trees and their branches that diminish the forever-wind and present us with squirrels. The southern tip of Greenland has trees. I’m not talking a daunting claustrophobic jungle that destroys all light that tries to penetrate the canopy, I’m talking a handful of trees, scattered about an otherwise treeless void. There are larches, spruces and pines living among the alders and birches! The landscape is green, the leaves are crisp and shiny, the late blooming flowers stand resplendent in colour, and there are no bears prowling, nor any squirrels ... read more
Drying Fish
Tasermiut Fjord

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay August 13th 2017

"All mushrooms are edible, but some only once in a lifetime." Henry On the southern edge of the Great Plains of Sunday Lake at the headwaters of a small tributary that feeds the mighty Cunningham River, I crawled on my hands and knees on the soggy ground searching for mushrooms. More specifically, I was looking for particular varieties of the Hebeloma mushroom in the Hymenogastraceae family… My cold hands rummaged through the gnarly roots of the willows, the twisted stems of the blooming bistorta, and the bowing bell-flowers of the nodding saxifrage. My nose faced the ground, inhaling the fragrance of moist Bryam Moss… My eyes were fixed, sweeping back and forth over a tangle of lichen… I was searching… “Is that one? Is that a Hebeloma?” At first I didn't know what I was looking ... read more
An erroneous 'Shroom.
Found One!
Looking for 'Shrooms

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 28th 2017

Most consequential choices involve shades of grey, and some fog is often useful in getting things done. Timothy Geithner It has been an unusually damp and foggy summer up here at latitude 74, but that has not hindered our ability to find adventures… Google in the Gloom I have become very fond of Google Canyon, a very narrow and fairly small canyon on a nondescript region of plateau not too far from camp. I go there occasionally, when I have some time in the evenings. Even if it’s gloomy, it’s still a very nice place… It was one degree Celsius, foggy and drizzling when I left camp for a hike. At first I decided I’d stay in camp, but I knew deep down that I had to go. I left alone, nobody else wanted to accompany ... read more
Musk ox in the wind
The herd
Startled Bears

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 22nd 2017

“In those Northwest voyages where navigation must be executed in most exquisite sort”. John Davis, 1594 , The Seaman’s Secrets. A high plateau looms behind the lodge. I have climbed to the summit many times. but had yet to explore beyond the rounded dome that casts a midnight shadow on the Cunningham River Delta. The plateau beckoned - it was calling. It was a foggy morning, with wind and snow flurries, not the ideal time for mountaineering in the arctic, but nevertheless, it was a magical scene with dark peaks dancing through holes in the clouds. As I ascended further, the plateau revealed itself as a blurry nothingness. It didn’t wish to be seen through this blanket of fog. The gravel expanse of the plateau's surface is mesmerizing, especially in the fog. All I wanted to ... read more
Cape Riddle
Union Bay
Cape Riley

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