Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 3: Sea Ice and Work Begins (NABOS 2009)

[*Part of an ongoing series documenting the 2009 NABOS Arctic Expedition, approximately 1 year ago*]

Monday, August 17, 2009

1:15 PM I walk around in my cabin and a glimmering white flash out my porthole window catches my eye. I make a mad dash for the window and climb up on my seating area to get a better look out the window. On the far horizon I see WHITE!! That can only mean one thing.... SEA ICE! Horray! Now this is becoming real!

View of first sea ice out my porthole window

As I continue to stare out my porthole... I begin to spot itty bitty pieces of ice floating by. 15 minutes pass and we're into a sea of floating ice cubes! By this point it's becoming quite chilly in my cabin so I sprint across the room to add on a sweater, hat, and mittens.

Enjoying the sea ice out on deck

Later in the afternoon we have a tour of the entire icebreaker so we're familiar with our surroundings. The 8th and 9th deck showcased some of the most Spectacular views! The wheelhouse... a room surrounded on three sides by paned glass windows making you feel like you're a sea bird floating along a few stories above the ocean below!

Enjoying the view from the wheelhouse

We were able to check out all of the navigation equipment including the radar and nautical maps.

Ship's Radar

Later in the evening dinner conversations turned to the arrival of the icebreaker at our first mooring station to attempt a recovery of the instrument from the sea floor. The research team is filled with anticipation and eager to start working later tonight! On board the ship we all will try to follow a schedule, but from what I'm learning from my new mooring technician friends you never have a real schedule up here in the Arctic. Everything is dependent upon so many variables... wind speeds, sea ice thickness, research equipment working properly... and as a result you should always be prepared to work :)

A little chilly out on the 8th deck in the evening... but breathtaking views!

After team meetings in the evening I headed off to bed, no longer being rocked to sleep by rolling waves, but now feeling like a child being pulled across the snow while riding in a sled...

In the early morning hours while I was asleep the mooring team was called out on deck for work to attempt to recover the first mooring in an area of heavy sea ice... I'll update you on the results tomorrow...

~ Polar_Gal ~


  1. you seem to have a wonderful life

  2. Awww... thanks! I try to make the most of every day... although most days are spent writing code and working in a cubicle at the office... haha... these are just the highlights of my research work in the Arctic :)

  3. Arctic is very cold place and in winter it become more cold. The water become a ice in this season. It is very difficult situation for the icebreakers to break the ice of the water.