Post from a Scientist: “Things to Remember About the Arctic”

And once again, hello! As I am writing this, it is the 19th of September. In a couple of days our cruise will be over, and we will get to Kirkenes, and it will become much easier to call my friends or to send somebody e-mails! But now I have 3 more days on board. It means that I have enough time to do something I’ve never planned to do here! Well, as I wrote in my previous post, my name is Lena (it’s an unofficial form of my name), I’m a summer school student here and today is my second time to write a post in this nice blog! :) Well, Lindsay asked us to write about anything we want. I think it’ll not be so interesting for you to read one more post about our project because I’m sure one of the girls has already written about it. So I decided to write about some special experiences I had on board during the last month.

First, every day, every hour, of this cruise, my project partners and I observed the clouds. We did it by going on the top deck of the vessel and noting our observations in a table. So now I will be able to wake up at 4 or 6am and go upstairs to the 5th or 6th floor and write down my observation. And of course I’ll never be confused again by stratocumulus and stratus clouds! And one more fact: there are not many sunny days in Arctic! Actually we had only a couple sunny days during the cruise, and we had fog, drizzle and cloudy weather conditions the rest of the time.

Second, we had some heavy weather days, so now I know that in stormy weather, the best two skills you can have are to scotch tape everything down in your room, and to fall asleep as quickly as you can! Otherwise all your stuff that was on the table or in drawers and wardrobes will fall in the middle of the night and wake you up!

Everything needs to be taped down! Photo from Elena Khavina

Everything needs to be taped down! Photo from Elena Khavina

Third, it’s really not so easy to sleep during the polar day, because it’s light all the time. That’s why you can’t keep track of the time and never know whether it is day or night. You just start to live according to the schedule. “It’s 9o’clock, it’s time to wake up!” OR “It’s 1am already! Oh my gosh! It’s time to sleep!”

Photo from Elena Khavina

Photo from Elena Khavina

And you have to put on a lot of clothes not to become frozen. So every time you go outside, it takes about 5 – 10 min to put on everything you need. So there are a lot of special features and crazy properties here! And at the same time, you get very cool experiences, and get in touch with real Arctic nature, with sweet white polar bears, insolent sea gulls, and cozy cloudy weather!

And just like the last time, I included some photos of a sunny day in the Arctic Ocean for you. And there’s me too. :)

- Elena Khavina

Photo from Elena Khavina

Photo from Elena Khavina

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