19-Sep-2005 -- It was exciting to discover an unindexed confluence point with land well in sight, but very disappointing to discover it too late to make it a succesful visit. We were heading to Norway from Bjørnøya (Bear Island, 179 sq km, 440 km N of Norway) with M/S Origo, a ship that offers passenger cruises around Svalbard during the summer. (I heard from the crew that another confluence hunter had visited with the same ship two confluences (79N11E and 80N17E) only two weeks earlier!) We joined the ship in the town of Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen to bring it to Sweden. The ice conditions in Svalbard don’t allow passenger cruises during winter.
A storm threatened to hit us before getting to the shelter of the Norwegian archipelago, and by the time I realised that land would be well in sight in N74E19, it was too late to ask the captain (Jarkko Koivisto) to deviate from the planned route. Indeed, we did not make it to the shelter before the storm hit us, with force even higher than predicted (wind force 9 and wave force 10, according to the captain). At times the waves and winds were so high and powerful, that we were drifting backwards. Eventually we arrived in Tromsø 26 hours later than expected.
Although we missed the confluence by 7130 metres, the island is certainly visible from the confluence as well, since the distance to the southern tip of Bjørnøya from the confluence is 39.1 km, whereas the picture was taken from 40.0 km from the island.
Visibility in the area is generally very poor, so we were quite fortunate to get the picture. We were also lucky to have the chance to visit the island. It has no harbor or properly sheltered anchoring place, and the waves often make the island inaccessible.