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North Pole: The Expedition, Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Cape Tegetthoff, Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Ninety Degrees North
Champ Island, Franz Josef Land: Fascinating geology
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Champ Island is an island in the central area of Franz Josef Land, Russia. The island has a surface of 374 square kms. and there is a wide unglacierised zone in the southwest of the island. The highest point of the island is 507 metres.
Champ Island is also the southernmost island of the Zichy Land subgroup of the Franz Josef Archipelago. It is separated by narrow sounds from Luigi Island in the north and Salisbury Island in the northeast. This island was named after William S. Champ, who was the representative of the late William Ziegler and leader of the relief operation searching for Anthony Fiala of the Fiala-Ziegler Polar Expedition.
Because we were stranded at Bear Mountain yesterday, we missed the entire evening depriving us of an additional landing at Teplitz Bay on Rudolf Island. But then when on a North Pole voyage, these things do happen.
Thankfully, the weather was much better today prompting our expedition leader to make a landing at Champs Island. Itís a place with fascinating geology, tundra vegetation and scenery. A tundra floor with many drainage channels has species of all the flowering plants of the archipelago in abundance with many mosses and lichens.
The ĎDevilís Marblesí; amazing spherical concretions are in the upper valley and the largest of the boulders exceed 2 metres in diameter while the smallest are merely marbles. All this is surrounded by rocky cliffs, glaciers and sea scape with many breeding birds in the vicinity.
We used zodiacs for our landings. Thankfully the sun was out. We were advised to have our waterproof boots out as it was to be a wet landing; meaning we would alight from our zodiacs in about a foot of water. We were given about 2 hours to explore the island.
Before getting back to our ship, our zodiac driver was kind enough to show us around with a detour to view the glacier and a few ice bergs.
For the afternoon we had plans to make landings at some historic sites including Cape Heller, Cape Ziegler and Hayes Island. The weather had turned hostile and we carried on with our voyage.
At about 8 in the evening the sun was out and the sky was absolutely blue and clear. Of course, that called for a landing at Cape Tegetthoff at Hall Island!
Champ Island Image Gallery Photo viewer
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