Enormous walruses floating overhead…
Polar bears pacing the nearby coasts…
THIS is the thrilling world in the waters of FRANZ JOSEF LAND.
Well versed in the trials and dangers of remote exploration, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala has put aside the trappings of tropical diving, and led his trusty team where few have gone before…
Into the depths of the RUSSIAN ARCTIC.
Now, after weeks at sea braving harsh weather, dangerous beasts, crashing icebergs, and shortages of vodka, the latest Pristine Seas expedition has returned home to tell a tale like none other!
Photographs can tell part of the story. For the rest, only the awe-inspiring REALITY OF NUMBERS can suffice.
Enough delay. Embark with us on a journey through statistics, and then, if you absolutely must, you can see the stunning photos and read the written accounts of our heroes at the full blog series linked below.
Franz Josef Land Expedition by the Numbers
Distance traveled within the FJL archipelago – ca. 3500 km
Anchor sites – 33
Landing localities – 35 on 24 islands
Zodiacs (small boats) shuttled to land and diving localities – over 370
Benthic stations achieved – 90, including 35 grabs and 53 diving.
Oceanographic and plankton station conducted – 22, max depth – 554 m
Dropcams (deep water camera) – 24 dives, average depth – 165 m, max – 392 m
Highest elevation climbed – 558 m
111 hrs. 13 min. total underwater time
56 min. longest dive
22 sites visited
New Species for the Archipelago
2 species of birds
11 species of macro-algae
15 species of benthic invertebrates
One Greenland shark
(more to be determined after examination of collections)
Other Animal Sightings
Birds ringed – 223
New ivory gull colony found
Polar bears observed – 42
Walruses counted on the land haul outs – over 3,000
Whales observed – 45
Historical photographs retaken – 180
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES! Read All Franz Josef Land 2013 Blog Posts
The Pristine Seas: Franz Josef Land expedition is sponsored by Blancpain and Davidoff Cool Water.