“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books”
– John Lubbock The Use of Life

One week at Bamsebu and this year could not be more different than last year. Its plus 2’c and pouring rain– the little snow that was here all but washed away.

We have seen 3 reindeer on the hillside through our infrared spotting scope and 1 healthy white Arctic fox. Last year at this time we had no rain, a lot of snow and -18.5c. We had numerous reindeer in the area and had already had about 5 polar bear sightings. Its clear that the fox will fair better than the reindeer this year. Their teeth get quickly worn from working so hard to bit through the ice to get to food.

The world is changing

November had its warmest day on record in Svalbard +9.4’c! This year’s sea ice minimum tied for the second-lowest extent on record, according to NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Added to the change we see outside we have the state of the US elections and democracy, the wildfires, the pandemic and all of the ways people are having to recalibrate how to come together over Thanksgiving in the US, advent in Norway and the Christmas holidays for all. We are all living in a world that is constantly changing and so must we.

As we – Sunniva and Hilde- know all too well- we are a resilient species and adaptation is a muscle that just needs exercise. So let’s all start training that muscle! It starts with courage. The courage to seek to understand, the courage to believe in yourself, the courage to be vulnerable, the courage to get outside of your comfort zone and the courage to change.

As we are all a bit confined to indoor spaces- take time to get outside and feel the rain, sleet, snow, sun and wind on your face. Its outside where we are all connected. Its outside where our creativity soars and our curiosity has a chance to be ignited.

We are all set up here for the months ahead with water, food, firewood, clothing, science gear and equipment. Staying connected with the outside world remains one of our core missions.

Interactive education

Our satellite data courtesy of Marlink is our lifeline and we look forward to the month of December with our focus on polar bears. Their survival, their adaptation and their world of diminishing ice so please check out our interactive education pages: www.exploringbytheseat.com/hiti . We hope to see you on one of the calls- just join via youtube live and ask us or the monthly expert anything!

We are living in the blackness of the polar night but we can assure you all- we will keep the light on and our flames burning brightly.

Hugs from the Polar Girls,
Sunniva & Hilde

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