It has not been a simple journey north this year. Pilot strikes across Scandinavia made the past week a jumble of nerves and planning. It has been a mix of emotions, not knowing whether we would get to the Arctic in time for the live broadcasts and for the science plan that have been months in the planning. Finally, late yesterday our onward journey from Oslo to Svalbard was confirmed.
There was to be one last twist in our journey. The plane was delayed for an hour on the tarmac in Oslo. Any further delay and we would be outside the flying times for the charter flight northwards to our final destination, Ny Alesund.
Luck was on our side and we weighed in our luggage for the final leg of a 60-hour ordeal. A mere 216 kg of science equipment, cameras, broadcast kit and warm clothing for the next two weeks.
As we took off from Longyearbyen, there was an overwhelming sense of relief. A steep climb, and then the marshmallow beauty of the Arctic beneath us.
To reach the UK Arctic Research Station is a 25-minute flight over some of the most stunning scenery. It's a pure privilege to experience this, and hard to grasp how this huge and majestic landscape can also be fragile.
Then the familiar view of Ny Alesund, our home for the next weeks. It's just past 11 o'clock in the evening and the sun is still up. We'll be needing the twenty four daylight as we make up for lost time, but for now it's time to pull down the black-out blinds and enjoy a good night's sleep.