Talking seasons: February’s light chasing

The last month has been all marked by light hunting. Since the end of January, the days become longer very rapidly. Every free weekend was spent on the snow scooter to the southern side of the peninsula. May I present you a little overview of last month’s light hunting, with direct sunlight as the literal highlight.

2nd of February 2022: Chasing auroras
Okay, no sunlight, but auroras are definitely worth hunting too. A good aurora forecast led us towards the cabin “Gåsebu”, around 4 km away from Ny-Ålesund. Unfortunately, the auroras were barely there (and yes, I walked out of the cabin every 10 min to check), but nonetheless it was a beautiful evening.

The cabin Gåsebu under the Milky Way and the Lidar light.

4th of February 2022: A trip to the cabin Kjaersvika
A good weather forecast and three snowscooters led us to the cabin Kjaersvika, west of Ny-Ålesund on the light side of the peninsula. In the evening we got spoiled by auroras (the delayed auroras that we did not get in Gasebu) and the next morning Mother Earth gave us a sky on fire.

The cabin of Kjaersvika (the black point in the red circle)
Auroras over Engelskbukta
Red skies. The sun is on its way back!

12th and 13th of February: Crossing the peninsula over Skaret
Another weekend in February with good weather, thus another possibility to chase some light. We can see our own beloved fjord now again very well and oh, what a beauty of a fjord it is. Despite the beauty of our Kongsfjord, we still crossed the peninsula to see the other side again. When you don’t want to drive around the peninsula, you can drive via Skaret, a mountain pass South of Ny-Ålesund. A quick and nice way to get to the other side. Over there, the terrace of the cabin “Daerten” was waiting for us and our tea. February is spoiling us so far.

The mountain pass “Skaret” and the cabin “Daerten”
Ny-Ålesund and Kongsfjorden. Such a beauty of a fjord.
The other side of the mountains.
The view down from Skaret

17th of February 2022: The sun rises again
From this day on, the sun rises again above the horizon. It will take however until the 7th of March before direct sunlight will hit our little village.

19th of February: HELLO SUN
The Norwegian Polar Institute has a cabin called “Monaco” ca 21 km South of Ny-Ålesund. From there one has a rather open view towards the South, making it a great place for seeing the sun. AND WE SAW IT. A stop on the headland Sarstangen on the way back gave us the view on some beautiful drift ice too. Also, Monaco is the furthest South I have been since almost 10 months. Quite a fitting place to see the sun for the first time since mid-October.

The small circle: the cabin “Monaco”. The big circle is the headland “Sarstangen”
Drift ice seen from Sarstangen.

Alright. February is really spoiling us so far. Good weather conditions and beautiful light. Although we do not have direct sunlight in town yet, we have pastel skies and daylight. Now we will enjoy the last month of nighttime. In a bit more than a month, it won’t get dark anymore. A crazy, but fascinating and beautiful place.

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