Posts from Saturday 27 Sep

Martha Wainwright & Jonathan Dove

Martha Wainwright and Jonathan Dove
Martha Wainwright and Jonathan Dove on the front deck of the Grigoriy Mikheev as we head North towards Disko Bay.

Danger, Danger: High Voltage

Carol explains the kit she’ll be using during the voyage – the sparker unit – which uses acoustic pulses to image the sea bed and sediments below the sea bed. The ship’s acoustics leads to some initial frustration, followed by success!


The science container (no toothbrushes)

The good news on reaching the Grigory Mikheev, our home for the next 10 days, was that it was the BGS container that made it on-board, and not one full of toothbrushes (my recurring nightmare of the past week or so), and it was dry inside and not flooded (Dave Smith’s recurring nightmare of the past week!) The bad news is that as we steam up the fjord from Kangerlussuaq, western Greenland, there is a Force 6 south-westerly waiting for us at the mouth of the fjord – 4 hours and counting until we start rolling around! I’m starting to spot a theme here after last year’s “rough seas” Cape Farewell Expedition across the Greenland Sea!
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Seasickness can’t stop us

When music star Feist signed up to be on the expedition, she said that it sounded like “summer camp” for kids. Although I never attended summer camp as a child. I imagine this must be what it’s like.

Or perhaps it’s more like MTV’s The Real World: The Arctic. Forty-six strangers picked to live together at the top of the world aboard a Russian Sea Vessel. And when the sea stops being polite, suddenly it stars getting real. Hey, we are even being filmed (though for the Sundance Channel and not music television).

Last night the waters began getting rough. In fact, I am writing this blog entry with blurred vision.
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Julian Stair on sea watch

Julian Stair on birds and renewable energy sources. Audio by Vicky Long.

Night Storms

There’s forty six passengers, nineteen Russian crew, three international expedition staff and three international hotel and catering staff. It was stormy last night. The Gregory Mikheev, all two hundred and ten feet of her, tilted and bobbed like a jack- in-a-box. At twelve and an half knots she crashed through the night sky, a shadow cutting through a shadow, lighthouse spills midnight truths from the ragged coast. Morning breaks through and there’s no sea sickness, only wonder.

Arrival and unpacking

Preparation, preparation

Hello all, sorry for being quiet since our arrival in Greenland, but we’ve been working hard on trying to extract data from our CTD. Even after many hours sitting in a container battling with a computer we’ve not yet managed to get any data out of it. Rewinding slightly…

It was fantastic to see the old faces of last year’s Noorderlight trip at the airport on Thursday evening and to meet the rest of the crowd on the expedition. The Iceland flight was delayed somewhat, but with all the excitement we didn’t really notice! On Friday we were delivered to Greenland in style with our very own charter of a Fokker 50 aeroplane, delivered to the port in less style on an ancient bus, and ferried to the ship in zodiac inflatables, finally arriving at 4pm GMT, 5pm British summer time, 4pm Iceland time and 2pm Greenland time. There was so much confusion over what time we were working on that each room on board ended up being in a different time zone! The ship is great and so is its crew. To us scientists it’s much more like we’re used to in our research, just without the winches!! That afternoon/evening we were welcomed aboard, had our safety briefings and set about unpacking as we steamed out of the fjord.