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Sjuhollendarbukta

One of sev­er­al bays on the south­ern north coast (sounds weird, but that’s how it is). „Bay“ may be a bit far-fetched, there is a wide beach, but at any wind or sea from the west or north, it will be com­plete­ly exposed.

Jan_Mayen_Sjuhollendarbukta

Accord­ing to the Aus­tri­an expe­di­tion from 1882-83 (First Inter­na­tion­al Polar Year), who had plen­ty of time to con­sid­er the mat­ter on loca­tion, this is the site of the first win­ter­ing ever on Jan Mayen. All 7 win­ter­ers died, how­ev­er, from scurvy. Accord­ing­ly, the Aus­tri­ans called the place „7 Hol­län­der Bucht“ or Sev­en Dutch­men Bay, now in Nor­we­gian Sjuhollendarbukta.They also found some human remains and built a cross with a memo­r­i­al plate. This has all gone, how­ev­er, noth­ing can still be seen, nei­ther any graves or human remains nor any signs of a 17th cen­tu­ry whal­ing sta­tion or the wood­en cross. Today it is gen­er­al­ly believed that the win­ter­ing of 1633-34 took places fur­ther north in Kval­ross­buk­ta.

Detail:
Sjuhol­len­dar­buk­ta

Jan_Mayen-Sjuhollendarbukta-Ausschnitt

Next to large amounts of drift­wood and typ­i­cal beach veg­e­ta­tion, there are two huts as the only signs of human activ­i­tiy vis­i­ble today. These huts do not have a back­ground in dis­tant his­to­ry, but of course there is a sto­ry about their ori­gin. Local­ly, they are know as Camp Vera or sim­ply Vera, or to be more pre­cise as Gam­le Vera and Nye Vera (old and new Vera). Gam­le Vera is said to have been built some­where else on Jan Mayen in 1964 in con­nec­tion to seis­mic work, it was then called „Olsen hyt­ta“. After being dam­aged, it was trans­port­ed to the sta­tion in 1968 for repair.

In Sep­tem­ber the same year, it was moved over land to Kval­ross­buk­ta and then with a float to Sjuhol­len­dar­buk­ta. One of the ini­tia­tive tak­ers is said to have been Ove Grass­bakken, a mete­o­ro­log­i­cal assis­tant, and since then, the hut is known as Vera after Ove’s wife. In 1979, Vera (the hut) was moved a bit away from the beach as it was threat­ened to be dam­aged by the surf. The drift­wood shows how far inland the sea can reach under heavy storms. At the now loca­tion, the hut was, how­ev­er, dam­aged by an avalanche or rock­fall in the 1990s. In 1999 it was repaired, but it did not live up to the mod­ern-day free time expec­ta­tions of the sta­tion mem­bers, so Nye Vera was built in the vicin­i­ty in 2004. Nye Vera is, of course, larg­er and more com­fort­able, but it can cer­tain­ly not keep up with Gam­le Vera in terms of his­tor­i­cal charme.

Photo gallery Sjuhollendarbukta

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last modification: 2016-07-12
copyright: Rolf Stange