I was just researching the possibility of doing just this trip, as i had found out it had yet to be done.
the last failed attempt was in 2008 By Alon Ohad and Tim Starr http://www.ohad.info/svalbard/index.php?menuItem=about. my hopes arrose at the possibility of succesfully doing this trip in the coming years. Then I discovered a couple of norwegians where doing the trip this year and I was excited for them and a little sad at a lost opurtunity. Now i am a little weary of the prospect, however they say third times a charm!
Maybe 2012 i will give it a shot?
Here is the sad news of the second failed attempt on the "first kayak circumnavigating Svalbard Archipaligo, Norway".
Two Norwegians Sebastian Plur Nilssen, 22, and Ludvig Fjeld, 22, had a nightmare awakening on Svalbard Thursday. Plur Nilssen was dragged out of the tent by a Polar Bear. His expedition partner managed to shoot the bear.
The two Norwegians where on an expedition to circumnavigate the whole Svalbard archipelago in kayaks and started from Longyearbyen July 5. They where on the north coast of Nordaustlandet on Ekstremhuken when the attack happened midday Thursday July 29.
The Polar Bear went into the tent and dragged Plur Nilssen 40 meters along the beach before his friend managed to kill the bear.
Two hours after Sysselmannen, governor of Svalbard, got the report his Super Puma helicopter landed on the beach with a nurse on board.
The two kayakers were immediately flown back to Longyearbyen and Plur Nilsen was taken to hospital.
According to the latest reports his condition is stable but not life threatening. He has wounds on the head, neck and upper body.
According to Sysselmannen it is very seldom that a Polar Bear attacks tents. There are approximately 3000 Polar Bears on Svalbard.
Article Translated by explorers web at