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North Pole: The Expedition, Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Cape Tegetthoff, Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Ninety Degrees North
Cape Tegetthoff; Hall Island, Franz Josef Land: Beautiful sea stacks
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Hall Island is almost completely glacierized. The only relatively large areas free of permanent ice are located in its southern end, where there are two headlands, Cape Tegetthoff and also Cape Ozerny on Littov Peninsula. There is also a very small unglacierized area around its eastern cape, Cape Frankfurt, and another in its northwestern point, Cape Wiggins. Hall Island was named after American Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall.
Hall Island's area is 1,049 square kms. and it is one of the largest islands in the group. Its highest point is 502 metres. There is a wide bay on the southeastern side of Hall Island known as Hydrographer Bay and a smaller one west of the Littov Peninsula called Bukhta Surovaya.
This island was discovered on August 30, 1873, by the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition. It was the first major island of the Franz Josef group on which the expedition members set foot. In 1898-99 a small camp was built at Cape Tegetthoff, by the Walter Wellman expedition. It contains a marker commemorating the discovery of the archipelago. Cape Tegetthoff was named after the main ship of the Austro-Hungarian explorers, which had been named in honor of Austrian admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff.
After our morning landing at Champ Island, we were ready for our second landing of the day at Cape Tegetthoff. We used zodiacs for our landing. We had a couple of hours to explore. It was 9 in the night and sun was up and shining.
The two sea stacks standing tall next to each other is quite a highlight of the island. These are used by nesting birds. The birds lay eggs that are bottom heavy thus making them stand stable on the vertical surface.
Also of interest was the remains of the wintering hut at the base of Cape Tegetthoff.
The log at 12 noon on day 9:
Location: 80º 38’ N, 57º 31’ E
Wind speed: 10 knots
Temperature: 2 degrees C; drifting ice
Distance from North Pole: 562 NM
The next two days would be sailing southwards to reach Murmansk, thus ending a fantastic voyage. But not before an opportunity to hold the Olympic Torch which was with the captain of our icebreaker. The ship was involved in carrying the torch for the winter Olympics.
Cape Tegetthoff Image Gallery Photo viewer
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