After three days of sailing, we arrived in the Gulf of Bothnia on Saturday afternoon. This northernmost sea between Sweden and Finland freeze over in winter, and this is where we will conduct the sea trials.
Ice in the Bothnian Bay.
Sunset meeting on the bridge.
We are performing sea trials in ice with two offshore anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels. Magne Viking, the vessel I am on, has ice class but is not an icebreaker. This means it can sail and break ice in light ice conditions, due to its reinforced hull. The other vessel, Tor Viking, is an actual icebreaking AHTS. So we send that one in front when we are sailing to break the ice.
Hey guys! I am writing to you from a ship again! The next three weeks I will spend offshore on vessel Magne Viking, an anchor handler with ice class. We are part of what is going to be sea trials in ice with two ships in the Bothnian Bay, north in the Baltic Sea. Joining us is the vessel Tor Viking, an anchor handling vessel that is also an icebreaker.
Some days my job is more amazing than others. Today, I and all other employees and students at NTNU received an email from the rector Gunnar Bovim launching the new promo video for the university. They have been collecting videos from NTNU people all through the year for this. When we went to the North Pole, I got an email asking us to do a video on the North Pole to use in the video. And not only did they use our clip in the video, rector Bovim chose a still from our clip in the email AND mentioned me by name along side Nobel laureate Edvard Moser.
I’m overwhelmed! I know it’s not a huge thing (I mean, the Moser’s won the Nobel Prize and all, I just sat on a boat going to the North Pole), but even still I was a bit floored, knowing the email went out to over 40.000 people. Bear with me.
I think the video is really good and well made, and it makes me proud to study and work in NTNU.
Can you spot me?
Hint: There is a clip from the North Pole at 1:45.
Gledelig jul and Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a peaceful Christmas, and stuffed their faces with all the good food and candy that belongs in this holiday. My Christmas was spent in Oslo (my home town) with my family; my mother, sister, her girlfriend and their dogs. Even though there was no white Cristmas this year, at least we had sun!
Some of you have messaged me and asked if I have quit blogging, since there has not been much activity recently. The answer is definitely no! I enjoy writing, and I get to do so many awesome things during this PhD journey that I love to share with you. In 2017, one of my new year’s resolutions will be to blog more frequently!
2016 has been a great year for me. During this first year of my PhD, I have learned and experienced so much. I wanted to do a recap post of all these moments, but I may do separate posts on some of the highlights later. Some of them definitely deserve that!
The moments and experiences are impossible to rate, so I will just list them in chronological order:
Less than three weeks after leaving Svalbard after the Arctic Ocean 2016 expedition, I find myself back in this Arctic wonderland. How lucky am I? This is actually the fifth (!) time I am setting foot on Svalbard this year. I will do posts on my exciting previous visits later. This time, I am here do a course at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS).
The last Saturday on the cruise was spent dismounting most of the equipment, while the ship laid still and drifting near the ice edge (where the transition from open water to ice is in the sea). The rest of the gear will follow the ship to Helsingborg, and be taken off during demobilization later in October. For myself, my equipment consisted of some cables and a laptop, so I managed to bring it with me in my bag.
On the top of a container on Monkey Island (the deck on top of the bridge), helping Martin dismount equipment.
The reason for me being on the Arctic Ocean 2016 research cruise is primarily to gather data for my PhD research work. I have promised a post about my work, so let me tell you a bit about what I am doing.
Yesterday, we saw the sun set for the first time in 38 days. We are headed south. The sunset is a sign; the journey coming to an end.
Local time: 2016-09-15 17:04
Position: 82° 47.23’N 018° 50.53’E
Speed: 6 knots
Water depth: 4238 m
Wind speed: 7.4 m/s
Air temperature: -8.67°C
Feels like (wind chill): -16.87°C
Sea temperature: -1.8°C
It finally happened – we saw a polar bear!
During the Arctic Ocean 2016 research cruise, we have been dredging to collect samples of rocks from the bedrock.
Cleaning the rocks from the dredge from mud (photo courtesy of Thomas Funck)