Two years ago, I visited Svalbard and the Arctic for the first time. I had started my PhD just a couple of months before, and given my topic, we knew I would spend some time in field in the Arctic and on Svalbard.
Safety is crucial when spending time in these remote and harsh places, so with my colleagues Martina and Andrei, I went to Svalbard to attend a one-week safety course at UNIS.
Another post is coming up about the safety course, stay tuned!
UNIS safety course
Rifle parking at UNIS
Making food with Martina and Andrei at UNIS guest house
Pink sky over Sukkertoppen
Avalanche training in front of Longyearbreen
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.
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).