August 14 – 15- Waiting in Arkhangelsk

August 14

Everyone is waiting. Russian customs is on the ship doing last minute inspections.

During this lull, I thought I would take the opportunity to compare the Akademik Tryoshnikov to the Fram– the ship specially built to put to the test the polar drift-theory proposed by Norwegian explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen. Our 2018 Arctic expedition is called NABOS- Nansen Amundsen Basins Observatory Systems, named after Nansen. He is one of Norway’s national heroes.

Jeannette Mirsky best summarizes the importance of this incredible feat in her book To the Arctic. “The drift of the Fram across the polar regions stands out as one of the most important contributions to oceanography.” In six folio (leaf) volumes are contained the scientific results of the expedition. The important conclusions based on the various observations carried on continuously for thirty-five months (September 1893 – August 1896) paralleled the high adventure of the voyage itself. They were vital pieces that integrated what had previously been so many fantastic parts of a giant jigsaw puzzle (referring to the uncharted territory in the Arctic).


The Fram, active from 1893-1912 (photo credit Wikipedia).

The Akademik Tryoshnikov, which will take us on this expedition.

Breakfast: meat, cheese, bread and butter

Lunch: beef lentil soup, moussaka, and coleslaw

Tea Time: ham, cheese, mushroom, bean and pickle salad

Dinner: roasted pork; sautéed zucchini, carrots, red peppers, potatoes and onion; and cucumber tomato salad

August 15

We continue to wait. Getting ready for expeditions involves a lot of preparation and forethought, especially if you are sailing and working in waters belonging to other countries. This requires going through customs just like traveling on land or by air to other countries.

While walking around the helo deck I was inundated with a kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering around everywhere I looked. There were definitely more than I could count. They were very friendly and stayed still long enough for me to take some nice photos. I looked in Arctic Wildlife Guide but could not find what kind of butterfly it is.

Breakfast: quiche, bread and butter

Lunch: borscht, garlic bread (homemade!), spaghetti, and salad

Tea Time: doughnuts and pears

Dinner: borscht, baked chicken, potatoes, and mixed salad