Tromsø Polar Museum

Click for larger image

Tromsø was the starting point for many polar research expeditions during late 1800s and early 1900s and the Polar Museum there has excellent displays on the topic. On our second day in Tromsø, we spent the afternoon at the Polar Museum and explored the town more on foot, both from high above and along the waterfront.

Below are trip highlights from June 12th in Tromsø, Norway. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

Click for larger image
Replacing Hose

James cleaning up after replacing the leaking return coolant hose. The hose was only 9 years old and is a high-quality Parker coolant hose but, once it was off the engine, we could see it had failed structurally. The fiber re-enforcement had completely failed and we could hear it cracking and breaking as the hose was flexed. The aftercooler runs up over 200F at medium throttle levels and at higher loads can get upwards of 260F. The coolant flowing back from the after cooler is unusually hot for engine coolant and it has effectively baked the hose. It was a quick and easy replacement and, surprisingly, only a quart of coolant was missing. Apparently a small amount of antifreeze mist can go a very long way. :)
Click for larger image
DUN Required

Android supports a feature that allows a carrier to prevent a hotspot from being enabled unless they approve it. This feature is inconvenient as it prevents us from turning the hotspot on when the carrier isn’t available to approve it. We like to enable the hotspot when we’re running on satellite so that we can switch automatically to cellular whenever it becomes available. This feature is slightly annoying, but at least you can tell what’s going on.

We recently came across yet another Android mechanism for carriers to block hotspot usage. This one is much more difficult to figure out in that the hotspot does turn on, the phone has internet connectivity, and other devices can connect to it properly, but they don’t have internet connectivity. We shouldn’t have any of these issues, since we only buy cell phone services that support use of hotspots.

Jennifer found the solution that’s actually pretty easy and only takes about five minutes: use ADB (the Android Debugger) to disable the Android global setting tether_dun_required. This setting indicates whether hotspot packets should be marked differently from regular traffic. We’re now back to operating as usual.

Click for larger image

Harpoons outside the Polar Museum on Tromsø. As Lonely Planet put it: “the whales didn’t stand much of a chance”.
Click for larger image
Trapper’s Cabin

Reconstruction of a trapper’s cabin at the Polar Museum in Tromsø. The museum is jam-packed with excellent displays focusing on hunting, trapping and polar research, particularly in Svalbard.
Click for larger image

Viewing sealing ship models in the room covering Arctic seal hunting. While the Polar Museum didn’t exactly celebrate the hunt, they aren’t apologetic about it either. Trapping and whaling have long been part of the area’s culture and livelihood.
Click for larger image
Cleaning Batteries

A picture showing crew cleaning batteries on the ice from a ship intentionally trapped to drift over the winter for research purposes.
Click for larger image
Fridtjof Nansen

Many dollars and lives were spent in polar research during late 1800s and early 1900s. We particularly enjoyed the museum’s displays on this topic—there were lots of pictures and good detail on the challenges faced. This is a room devoted to Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Price winner Fridtjof Nansen.
Click for larger image

Looking east from a hilltop near the the Polar Museum to 4,061 ft (1,238 m) snow-covered Tromsdalstinden.
Click for larger image

Mosaic murals on a building as we walked east from the Polar Museum.
Click for larger image
Steel Doors

We came across these steel doors installed in the side of the mountain.
Click for larger image

The doors to the tunnel were ajar, so you could see inside.
Click for larger image

A big set of radars mounted on the roof of the Tromsø Maritime School.
Click for larger image

The view to Tromsø from the hilltop at the Tromsø Maritime School. The spire of the Ishavshotel above the marina is visible to Jennifer’s left. Dirona is hidden by the large dark-grey building with the square windows (click image for a larger view).
Click for larger image

Statue resembling a boat’s figurehead outside the Tromsø Maritime School.
Click for larger image
Culture Center

Rabbit statues outside the Troms Culture Center, a hub for the artistic community in the old county hospital building. Troms is the county encompassing Tromsø.
Click for larger image

The Tromsø economy seems to be on fire. These apartment buildings are newly built, with many more under construction. The waterside development is built along old commercial wharfs with a waterfront path.
Click for larger image

Oystercatcher along the Tromsø waterfront.
Click for larger image
Apartment Building

Striking glass and steel apartment building along the Tromsø waterfront.
Click for larger image
Mountain View

We’d walked south hoping for a clear mountain view, and finally got it on our way back north.
Click for larger image
Creative Architecture

Another example of Tromsø’s varied and creative architecture.
Click for larger image
Hålogaland Teater

Jennifer posing with the statues outside the Hålogaland Teater, built in 1971.
Click for larger image

One of several small marinas in the area, this one behind Polaria that we visited the other day. The water is quite clear hear and you can see the anchors mooring the pontoons in the foreground.
Click for larger image

Photograph outside Polaria of the research vessel Lance, intentionally trapped in the ice to drift with the pack for research purposes.
Click for larger image

An exceptional meal at Presis tapas restaurant. The owners have two restaurants in the same building. Downstairs is Circa, which means approximately, and upstairs is Presis, which means precisely.
Click for larger image

A boatload of tourists heading out for an evening of adventures.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


If your comment doesn't show up right away, send us email and we'll dredge it out of the spam filter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.