Author: Hauke Trinks
Title: Leben im Eis [Life In The Ice] Time: 1999/2000
Destination: Svalbard, Norway
Length: a year
Type: sailing and hibernating
Science and polar bears
The story: HT is a professor for experimental physics who enjoys a good Arctic adventure as much as he loves science. So it seems only natural to him to go on a one-year solo stay in an isolated bay within the Arctic Circle – to find out about the origin of life. From what I understood, his scientific idea is basically that all life might have originally evolved in the molecular structures found in ice.
Hauke Trinks and his interesting science
If you think this is interesting, then this book might be just the right thing for you. I was more interested in the adventure part of the story though – and it proved to be a pretty good one. In the course of the expedition, HT and his two dogs master life in the Arctic, hunt seals and defend themselves against polar bears, and he doesn’t even shy away from scuba diving in the middle of the Arctic winter!
You could call this book a sturdy mix of adventure story and popular science. The writing is okay, it only tends to get a bit boring during some of the repetitious parts, like the ones where HT elaborates on his new found philosophy on life. (“There are no regulations out here, and no bureaucracy to paralyze creativity like some kind of sticky goo.”)
One thing that I forgot to mention: I particularly enjoyed reading the historical accounts of trappers in Svalbard that HT uses to mirror his own experiences. A clever stroke. People who are into science and polar bears will love this book.
From me, it gets a good 6/10.