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.
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!
I got to help the meteorology work package with launching a weather balloon!
Taking cores from the sediments on the seabed can help researchers understand the (distant) past, how the earth looked like back then and how it became the way it is today.
Luz María and Grace at work, sampling sediment cores.
Local time: 2016-09-04 15:52
Position: 84° 42.895’N 171° 59.988’W
Speed: 10.3 knots
Water depth: 2010 m
Wind speed: 19.2 m/s
Air temperature: -1.9°C
Sea temperature: -1.4°C
Ice conditions and concentration vary greatly in the Arctic Ocean . The last days we have been in transit in open water. The only ice we see are these bits of ice, bobbing up and down in the waves.
The contrast between the motions of the ship in ice and open water is huge. There are no waves in the ice, as they are damped by the ice. As we entered open water, the ship started rolling and pitching more due to the swell. It has been a long time since anyone has been sea sick on the ship, but today there has been a couple of grey faces. Luckily, we are entering more ice soon!