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 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.
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!
Sailing in a straight line through the open sea is easy. Sailing in a straight line in meters-thick ice is not so straight forwards.
Screenshot from one of the mapping software we use on Oden, showing planned track vs sailed track. The red triangle indicate the position of the vessel (actually here we were very close to the North Pole!)
Two bows and a sunset (Even though it’s morning!? More on that later.)
Local time: 2016-02-09 16:21
Position: 82° 23.40’N 141° 13.14’W
Speed: 0.7 knots
Water depth: 2858 m
Wind speed: 6.3 m/s
Air temperature: -2.3°C
Feels like (wind chill): -8.19°C
Sea temperature: -1.4°C
Today we met up with the other ship who is part of the expedition Arctic Ocean 2016, the Louis S. St-Laurent (LSSL). This was the last day where we would sail together, after the meeting we were heading different ways. Therefore, today’s plan was to load over rocks collected from dredging from Oden to LSSL and to visit each other’s ships. Continue reading
The LSSL following in our wake
Local time: 2016-08-30 21:19
Position: 82° 34.80’N 138° 19.34’W
Speed: 2.5 knots
Water depth: 3337 m
Wind speed: 11.3 m/s
Air temperature: -0.75°C
Feels like (wind chill): -7.96°C
Sea temperature: -1.5°C
Monday was day 22 out of 44, so now we are over half way in the expedition. Time flies!
Local time: 22:57
Position: 88° 26.15’N 006° 17.38’W
Speed: 10.6 knots
Water depth: 4341 m
Wind speed: 3.3 m/s
Air temperature: -2.7°C
Feels like (wind chill): -6.51°C
Sea temperature: -1.4°C
We’ve been on the ship for almost a week now. I can’t believe it, time is moving so fast! Everyone is settling in, getting to know each other and the ship quite well. It’s a really friendly environment, and quite young also! I’m not sure about the average age of the participants and crew, but my guess is around 35.
Local time: 22:32 2016-08-11
Position: 80° 40.07’N 007° 12.03’E
Speed: 9.2 knots
Water depth: 820 m
Wind speed: 8.2 m/s
Air temperature: -0.5°C
Feels like (wind chill): -6.05°C
Sea temperature: -0.9°C
We entered the ice the night before Wednesday, and laid stationary the whole day. As I believe I have mentioned before, two ships comprise the expedition. The other ship is Canadian coast guard vessel Louis S. St.-Laurent (referred to as LSSL or “the Louis” with French pronunciation; “loui”). Due to some (now-fixed) engine trouble, they had to catch up to us, which caused us to wait for a whole day in the ice. I believe no one objected to this, as the scenery is fantastic. Sometimes the research cruise feels more like an ordinary cruise, with all the scientists lined up along the railings, pointing their SLR lenses outwards and snapping away. I really can’t blame them (hey – I’m one of the ones shooting with my camera), it’s so beautiful here!