Wow! After much anticipation, my dream is closer to becoming a reality. I arrived in Kirkenes, Norway on August 6 with Dean Stockwell, a scientist from Fairbanks, Alaska. We were greeted by Rob Rember, our co-chief scientist. Shortly after checking into the waterfront Thon Hotel, we headed to the shipyard warehouse a short distance away.
I was beginning to see and hear so much of what I have researched in preparation for this 57 day ‘cruise’. We ran into Ian Waddington, the team leader for the mooring technicians. He was busy scurrying around on a forklift checking out and rearranging equipment that will be needed on the ship. The conversation was shop talk about the ship and equipment and included words like- A frame, winches, anchors, cages, welding, mechanical spares, buoys, aft, starboard, cranes….
All of the preparation is for the arrival of the RV Akademik Tryoshnikov, a recently built Russian icebreaker, which will be our home at sea for almost two months. The Akademik Tryoshnikov arrived from Kiel, Germany this evening, August 8. We will start loading tomorrow morning with an anticipated departure later in the evening.
On another note, I was awestruck with how much Kirkenes has changed since I was last here on the Hurtigruten 35 years ago. In 1983, the Hurtigruten was a fleet of smaller boats delivering mail and cargo to coastal towns between Bergen and Kirkenes. Now the Hurtigruten is a fleet of luxurious cruise ships; and Kirkenes is bustling with tourism, hotels, restaurants, and a mall, unlike in 1983 when it was a small mining settlement with not much going on.
I invite you to follow along with this blog so we can learn more about this Arctic Adventure and what is actually going on with all the scientists, crew and other people that are involved in such a huge and exciting undertaking. And, please, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We look forward to hearing from you!