Skansbukta is a unique bay at the beginning of Billefjorden, a branch of Isfjorden. The flat beach area is surrounded on three sides by soaring cliffs of the Skansen mountain, protecting the place from wind and cold. Thanks to this location, like in the centre of Isfjorden, thermophilic vegetation dominates here. Its example is the northern Jacob’s-ladder, rarely found elsewhere.
A Gypsum Mine and a Shelter
Skansbukta is quiet and cosy. There is a comfortable anchorage area next to the beach, so you can get to land quickly.
The place is unique not only because of its location, but also because of the minerals available here. In the 20th century, gypsum was obtained here. The first mining period started by Dalen Portland Cementfabrikk from Brevik in Norway in 1918 lasted one season. The mine was reopened by the ship owner - Kjode - in the 1930s.
On the site there are many remains mainly from the second period of mineral extraction - the remains of the loading installation, a narrow-gauge railway, a wagon, ramps, the remains of a forge, a workshop and toilets and the employee's building.
To the south-west of the bay there are the remains of a trapper's house from the beginning of the 20th century. You can see the outline of the house and the grave of the daughter of the trapper Peder Furfjord, who overwinterd there in the years 1904-1905.
A bit further on there is another trapper's house, probably built as a satellite for a larger hunting station in 1923 by Artur Oxaas and Peder Ullsfjord, and recently renovated by the Governor of Svalbard. An interesting fact is that the house was built of materials found nearby, not specifically imported. The practice of reusing building materials is extremely popular in Svalbard.